Campus Crossroads Expands on the Legacy of Notre Dame Stadium

For its first 87 years, the University of Notre Dame Stadium provided a spectacular venue on six gamedays each year. When those games ended, the stadium emptied, the gates were locked and this part of campus fell silent. The Indiana University sought to change that with Campus Crossroads; the project would bring academics and student life to the stadium while improving the gameday experience.

The design team reused weathered redwood benches from the stadium bowl, with original seat numbers intact, allowing visitors to touch 90 years of Notre Dame football history.
The design team reused weathered redwood benches from the stadium bowl, with original seat numbers intact, allowing visitors to touch 90 years of Notre Dame football history.

Four years in the making, the Campus Crossroads project is the University of Notre Dame’s (UND’s) largest construction project in the school’s 178-year history. Opening in fall 2017 and fully occupied by spring 2018, Campus Crossroads is made up of three new adjacent buildings anchored to the south, east and west sides of the stadium— O’Neill Hall, Corbett Family Hall and Duncan Student Center, respectively.

Working alongside a diverse team of industry partners, The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) was the executive architect for this $400 million endeavor and led the programming, planning and design through construction of the Campus Crossroads project. The project provides a vibrant new face to the southeast side of campus while inspiring a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to education and research amongst students and faculty. These new buildings add more than 800,000 square feet to the campus, designed to attract students to the area year-round to participate in many activities, including academics, research, student life, fitness, digital media, performance, meetings, events and hospitality, strengthening the stadium’s connectivity to the surrounding campus.

ENVISIONING CAMPUS CROSSROADS

SLAM’s 20-year relationship with UND spans several groundbreaking projects that revived Notre Dame’s heritage of signature collegiate gothic architecture, including the Eck Center, Coleman-Morse, Jordan Hall of Science and the Notre Dame Law School.

As a trusted partner of UND, SLAM was selected to lead the design team for a feasibility study on the Campus Crossroads project that began in the summer of 2013. SLAM engaged university leadership, administration, faculty, athletics, academics and student affairs in determining what programs belonged in the Campus Crossroads project while ensuring the entities were reflected in the university’s strategic goals. An initial list of 20 academic and nonacademic departments, including student life, recreational sports and career services, were considered. SLAM helped to identify the departments that would belong in the Campus Crossroads project.

There are many interior spaces that sought inspiration from Notre Dame's heritage and are also meant to unify with the new exteriors.
There are many interior spaces that sought inspiration from Notre Dame’s heritage and are also meant to unify with the new exteriors.

The study rendered the “big idea” of successfully integrating academic and campus life with an enhanced gameday experience.

The three new buildings of the Campus Crossroads project bring together diverse disciplines to engage in an experience they couldn’t achieve alone.

O’Neill Hall, on the south side of the stadium, is a 6-story, state-of the-art music facility and includes performance halls, the Sacred Music program, a music library, classrooms and rehearsal halls, music departmental offices, and practice and teaching studios. The Foley’s Club provides hospitality space for gameday, as well as receptions and events throughout the year.

On the east side of the stadium is the 9-story academic building, Corbett Family Hall, which includes the Martin Digital Media Center; the departments of anthropology and psychology; facilities for press and radio; and the Downes Club hospitality space, which serves as a 100-seat classroom on non-gamedays.

Green roofs adorn the new buildings that are anchored to the south, east and west sides of the stadium.
Green roofs adorn the new buildings that are anchored to the south, east and west sides of the stadium.

The Duncan Student Center, on the west side of the stadium, stands 9 stories and incorporates gameday with student life and hospitality spaces. It is the heart of the greatest concentration of daily academic activity for students and faculty. The Danhke Ballroom serves as a club on gameday and a student-affairs ballroom on non-gamedays and is juxtaposed to other student-life spaces within the Duncan Student Center, including the Student Center, the Smith Center for Recreational Sports and the Meruelo Family Career Center. A large commissary kitchen and trucking garage support gameday and other events.

Year-round use is evidenced by non-gameday activities occurring in the hospitality and club spaces located within the new buildings, where they extend above the rim of the stadium bowl.

PHOTOS: MATT CASHORE PHOTOGRAPHY

About the Author

Steve Ansel
Steve Ansel, AIA, is principal and chairman emeritus for The S/L/A/M Collaborative, where he applies his expertise in facilities master planning and design for complex institutional projects.

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