MIDWESTERN UNIVERSITY DR. ARTHUR G. DOBBELAERE STUDENT SERVICES BUILDING
This central student resource hub was designed to introduce students to the University, housing the Admissions Department as the first stop for most prospective students and parents. Boasting expansive views from the heart of campus and the Bell Tower, the building also contains the Registrars Suite, Financial Aid Office, Alumni Relations, Business Services, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The exterior skin of the building draws its visual language from the surrounding buildings, effectively merging into the heart of campus as if it has always been there. The skewed orientation is designed to maximize views and daylighting. Over 85% of interior occupied spaces are daylit during working hours, significantly reducing energy consumption.
The high-performance building envelope uses innovative structural connections on the steel frame and precast panels to eliminate thermal bridging, combined with high efficiency spray-foam insulation to isolate the interior from the influences of the weather. The building was both cost effective to construct and saves significantly in life-cycle maintenance costs.
The majority of the construction happened while the country was shut down due to the COVID pandemic. The design, construction and University Facilities teams had to think outside the box to manage scheduling and logistics. Due to travel restrictions, construction administration and even inspections were handled digitally with new remote protocols – making this a unique construction experience. The building opened on time and on budget.
The move to centralize student services was also inspired by the need to create more research and teaching within the existing campus buildings. DWL continues to provide related master planning and asset tagging services spanning the entire campus through our long-standing partnership with the University.