Updating campus entry to frame university's identity.
Calvin College was in the final year of a five-year strategic plan that built a strong foundation and prepared the college to pursue a larger vision for the next decade. A key part of the plan was a shift in the institution’s name and structure from a college to a university. The transition to Calvin University provided an opportunity to update their campus entry to frame the university’s identity and forge meaningful outward connections.
The physical communication and expression of Calvin’s culture, history, and future begins at the entrance into campus. The campus carries a distinct architectural style, often referred to as Prairie Style architecture, which gives the campus an atmosphere unlike any other. The style of campus is marked by horizontal lines, integrated with landscape, craftmanship, and a disciplined use of ornament. University leadership wanted to create a large statement, but still honor the simplicity of the style.
The design team heard from a variety of stakeholders and with this feedback, along with the historical architecture precedents, and the future as outlined in the strategic plan, put together a vision for this campus entry. The design that emerged was a notable transformation. A new bus stop, brick wall, and entry sign were built that seamlessly links the campus to the surrounding community. The landscaping and platform create a hospitable area that is the perfect spot for students to take photos in front of the sign. The new campus entry creates a lasting impression for student, staff, and visitors.