Heritage University Academic Buildings, Washington Education, American Architecture
Heritage University Academic Buildings
American Education Development – design by Olson Kundig Architects
20 Mar 2014
Washington Education Development
Design: Olson Kundig Architects
Location: Toppenish, Washington, USA
Olson Kundig designs academic buildings for Heritage University
Quiet, elegant buildings serve university on a mission
Toppenish, Washington—Heritage University has broken ground on three new buildings on its main campus in rural Toppenish, Washington. Designed by Tom Kundig and Kirsten Murray of award-winning Olson Kundig Architects, the expansion will include cutting edge educational facilities for a student population that is as unique as are the buildings themselves.
Heritage provides a high quality university education to a rural population that has been historically under-represented in higher education as evidenced by the fact that as many as 85% of the students at Heritage are first generation college students. It is the unique mission of Heritage that intrigued Olson Kundig Architects and mandated that they channel their vision and expertise to a project that will greatly enhance Heritage University’s commitment to provide talented students the opportunity to reach their full potential. The project will be completed later this year.
Each new building is strategically set on the campus quad, activating the public-green space and encouraging interaction between students and nature. “Olson Kundig’s sensitivity to place, the Yakima Valley, and to the functional needs of our growing campus was paramount to our selecting them for this project,” said Dr. John Bassett, President of Heritage University. “Their designs are innovative and their creative approach to improving the density of the campus will add greatly to our students’ overall academic experience.”
In addition to the new three buildings, Tom Kundig and Kirsten Murray of Olson Kundig Architects have developed a master plan for future growth of the 48-acre campus. Heritage University’s unique background and dedication to the population and history of the Yakima Valley is reflected in Olson Kundig Architects’ master plan from maintaining and referencing original structures on the site, to incorporating the landscape, which plays an integral role to the community.
The main new building will replace Petrie Hall and will contain classrooms, computer labs and an art studio, while another building located in the center of the campus will include a cafeteria, a dining room and a bookstore. Lastly, the third facility on the southwest quadrant of the campus will be dedicated to information technology. Each building will feature brick facades and metal roofs, a palette of materials that will be easy to expand upon as the university grows and instigates future phases of the master plan.
“Good design is about creating a support, a foundation to the really important things that happen on the campus—the buildings are intentionally simple and really more of a background. We are thrilled to be working with Heritage University to help solve critical space needs and to create a meaningful place for learning,” notes Kundig. “The opportunity to work in this amazing landscape on a project with such a critical mission is incredibly exciting.” “The students,” Murray adds, “are at the heart of Heritage’s mission…we feel honored to be supporting the University in this effort.”
Heritage University Academic Buildings images / information from Olson Kundig Architects
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