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UNLV Libraries Main Page -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections -> Las Vegas Architects and Buildings Database -> Projects

UNLV Student Union

Photos & Links: (Web Page 1) (Web Page 1) (Web Page 1)
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV
Opened: 2006-08-08
Completed: 2007-07
Cost: $50.5 M (Both Phases)
Size (sq. ft.): 135000
Other Size Measure: Phase I
95,000 sq ft.
32,000 sq. ft. office space
4,500 sq. ft. confrence room
4 student lounges
30-space computer lab
300-seat theater/lecture room
Phase II
40,000 sq. ft.
10,000 sq. ft. ballroom space
40,000 sq. ft. outdoor plaza
Owners: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Funders: Student Fees
Contractors: Civil Engineer-Lochsa Engineering
Electrical Engineers-IBE Consulting Engineers
General Contractor-The Penta Building Group
Structural Engineers-Thornton-Tomasetti
Building Materials: Steel-frame structure Glass cutain wall sandstone and zinc paneling wood resin silver paneling (resembles aluminum)
Architectural Elements: The UNLV Student Union reuses the site of the old student union building as well as part of a parking lot. Thus, it does not occupy any previously landscaped areas of the campus. As evident by its footprint, number of floors, and proximity to adjacent structures, the Student Union was designed to facility increased campus density. Located at the junction of several circulation arteries on UNLV's campus, the building's foodcourt and various other public spaces were designed to promote community connectivity. The landscaping of the UNLV Student Union was designed to exhibit xeriscaping and minimal irrigation. The primary public arteries, namely the foodcourt and its adjacent spaces, are completely daylit, sparing energy costs that otherwise be incurred through the use of artificial lighting and the cooling loads provided by those lights. Cooling loads are further reduced by the use of low-e glazing. Shading devices were also employed to reduce heat gains from direct beam radiation. The outdoor public assembly spaces make use of rainscreens, which facilitates thermal comfort. The concrete used for this project contains a considerable amount of flyash; while much of the stone veneer used for this project comes from regional quarries. High-performance, high-quality paneling from Trespa were specified for a portion of the building's exterior. These durable panels are partially composed of recycled wood pulp.
Description: The new UNLV Student Union will be a focal point for the campus community and an interactive connection to the public in Las Vegas. This facility will foster an environment where UNLV students, faculty, and administrators can interact outside of the classroom. The new Student Union will provide a stage for campus events and will help create an identity for the UNLV community.
Completion Date: Phase I-July 2006, Phase II ? July 2007

To create a new building for the UNLV students that was beautiful, comfortable, usable and accessible.

The new Student Union is a focal point for the campus community and an interactive connection to the public. The building has created an environment where UNLV students can gather informally outside of the classroom, where campus organizations can meet, where events can be staged and where the public can visit. A major design challenge was to respond to the predominantly commuter-based university population by attracting students to the campus and encouraging their involvement in student life at UNLV.

This three-story facility provides spaces for diverse functions and groups, including multi-cultural and non-traditional students. The ground floor supports public activity with dining areas, student activities and services, a 300-seat theater, and retail spaces. Semi-public functions such as a computer lab, computer help center, student lounges, meeting spaces, and a ballroom are located on the second floor. Offices for student organizations share the third floor which is accessible to the public by day, but secured, and accessed only by authorized individuals at night.

When the design process began in early 2004, UNLV intended to remodel and expand the existing 77,000 square foot Moyer Student Union, which was constructed in 1967. The design team discovered that the structure did not meet current building codes and determined that it would be more cost effective to construct a new building than to renovate the original facility. To maintain on-campus dining options and other essential functions, a two phased construction plan was developed for the new Student Union.

The first wing of the new Student Union was built on the site of the planned expansion. Upon completion in July 2006 the original facility was demolished. Construction on the second Phase of the project was completed in July and adds 40,000 square feet on two levels, as well as several exterior spaces intended to extend the Student Union's usable program area.

On the north elevation, a 20-foot-wide terrace stretches the length of the building, providing a gathering place overlooking an existing plaza area. Below this terrace, two monumental exterior stairs lead to a landscaped forecourt with seating. To the south, a large courtyard framed by the building is shaded with tensile fabric canopies. This shading structure extends the dining space outdoors and create a stage for special events. The west half of the courtyard is terraced with concrete benches to provide amphitheater-style seating.
Award(s) Won:
Extra Note: 2006 Nevada Best of 2006 Southwest Contractor, December 56-80.

AIA Nevada Design Awards (2004) Entry No. UB03050, Submission. UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Form Core Boards, Project Identification Form, Project Entry Form, Site Location, Site Plan, Floor Plans, Conceptual Sketches, Photo of Model, Exterior Perspectives, Interior Perspectives and CD

AIA Nevada Design Awards (2005) Entry No. UB05048, Submission. UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Form Core Boards, Project Entry Form, Project Identification Form, Photo Release Form, Intern Compensation Disclaimer Form, Exterior Renderings, Floor Plans, Sections, Interior Renderings, Elevations and CD

AIA Nevada Design Awards (2007) Entry No. B07048, Submission.
UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Form Core Boards, Project Identification Form, Photo Release Form, Intern Compensation Disclaimer Form, Project Entry Form, Exteriors Photos, Site Plan, Floor Plans, Interior Photos and CD

"Class Act." Nevada Contractor, December 2004, 24.

Harris, Bill. "Building Nevada :Featuring Nevada's Building Industry Leaders." 1st ed. Newport Beach, CA: Landmark Books, 2007: 9. UNLV Arch Bk Stks HD9715.25.U63 N34 2007.

Howard, K.C. “New student union gears up.” 2 August 2006. [Online].
August 2, 2006.

Howard, K. C. "UNLV Envisions Buildings as ?Center of Student Life?." Las Vegas Review-Journal. 31 March 2005. [Online]. Lost Link. March 31, 2005.

Illia, Tony. "Longford Medical Center Nears Completion." Business Press, 20 December 2004, 10.

"News + Notes." Nevada Contractor, March 2004, 7.

“State of the Union.” Inside UNLV (2007): 8.

Syzdek, Nancy and Russell, Diane. "Construction Zone Ahead: Work Begins Soon on New Student Union, Rec Center." Inside UNLV, April 2005, 1 & 6.

"University Construction Report 2006: The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Student Union." Southwest Contractor. August 2006: 66-70.

University/College Projects. [online] Available Accessed: June 29, 2005.

"University Work Increases at UNLV: Firm Wins University Work." Southwest Contractor, February 2005, 12.

UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Project Information, Site Plan, Floor Plans, Interior & Exterior Perspectives.
Spatially Direct Parent: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Spatially Largest Parent: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chronologically Direct Parent: UNLV Moyer Student Union
Chronologically Largest Parent: UNLV Moyer Student Union