Southern University Student Life Center


Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Southern University

The New Student Life Center at Southern University is an outgrowth of the Southern University and A&M College and Scotlandville Community Strategic Plan 2021 Master Plan.  Establishing a student-centered campus and environment is an integral part of the Imagine 20K Vision.

The Southern University Student Union Building is an 85,000-square-foot testament to the institution’s commitment to student life. Positioned as the campus living room, this multi-functional space is designed to be a dynamic hub for social interaction, learning, and collaboration.

Drawing inspiration from Southern University’s historic location on Scott’s Bluff, overlooking the majestic Mississippi River, the building’s form pays homage to the river’s ever-shifting course over time. The structure’s design reflects the river’s fluidity and dynamism, creating a symbolic link to the university’s adaptability, resilience, and ongoing journey toward academic and cultural excellence. This symbolism is not just an aesthetic choice but a tangible representation of the university’s dedication to navigating the currents of progress while remaining rooted in its historical context.

The building’s two stories exhibit a dynamic interplay as they shift along their lengths, both converging and diverging. This architectural movement creates unique moments, featuring dynamic overhangs and sheltered gathering spaces. The lower level, constructed with masonry, seamlessly aligns with the campus vernacular, adopting materials that shift from providing support and shelter in the South and East to offering openness and transparency in the North and West. Meanwhile, the cantilevered second level boasts a delicate metal and glass façade that gracefully opens and closes as it spans, directing attention and reflecting the internal functions of the building. The design strategically engages with its three street frontages, particularly emphasizing the primary student circulation route to the North and the natural ravine landscape to the West.

Inside, the Student Union Building is a harmonious blend of modern amenities and versatile spaces. The facility caters to the multiplicity of student body needs, from collaborative study areas and technologically equipped meeting rooms to inviting lounges. It is a space where ideas flourish, friendships are forged, and the spirit of Southern University thrives.

As a focal point for community engagement, the Southern University Campus Union embraces its role in hosting events, cultural activities, and gatherings. The expansive green space surrounding it serves as a backdrop for events, gatherings, and cultural activities that bring the Southern University community together in celebration of excellence, learning, and shared experiences.