BSC’s interior wins architecture award

The Busch Student Center is now an award-winning facility, but
that depends on who is the judge.
Deemed the 2004 Design Award winner in educational interiors by
Buildings.com, Building Magazine’s Web site, the BSC was cited as a
“newly updated space to study, congregate and hang out between
classes.”

The BSC was chosen for the award because of its transformation
over the past few years, from the drab Busch Memorial Center to the
colorful BSC. The glass atrium wall was also given credit as being
the focal point of the building.

While the architectural merit of the building was highlighted,
the award also focused on the benefits of the BSC for students.

The article referenced the number of facilities available for
students, such as Wackadoo’s, Au Bon Pain, Indox and Salon
Ktizo.

“The new BSC offers a multitude of places for them to gather,
catch a meal, pick through their snail mail, check their e-mail and
more,” the article said.

Vice President of Student Development Kathy Humphrey reiterated
the idea that the BSC is for students, stating, “We moved from a
dark, dull, dingy building to a vibrant, well-lit well-trafficked
building. It’s constantly humming.”

On the other hand, Angela Fedderssen-Heinze, of Mackey Mitchell
Associates, the architectural firm chosen for the project
recognized the BSC as a method of profit for the University. “We
worked with a consultant to truly make the building work for the
University and be its own profit center,” she said. She also
described the number of breakout rooms and the versatility of the
multipurpose room.

The sentiment seems to be the same for several SLU students.

Adam Meister, Student Government Association president-elect,
thought it was ironic that there was no student response in the
article. He also added that while there were students on the BSC
planning committee, the University had specific requirements and
guidelines for what the building would include.

“The designs looked good to students on paper, but it turned out
not to be what we needed or wanted,” Meister said. “There is not
enough open space. Many of the things promised were never brought
to fruition.”

Meister said that while the BSC does bring in revenue, the
students are paying for the building.

“I think the BSC is very beautiful, but not exactly student
friendly,” said freshman Rachel Wieser. “There are some spaces for
students to talk or study, but the majority of the building is used
for conferences and meetings. I know students can utilize these
spaces for clubs or to study, but they are not comfortable or
inviting. We need a comfortable, open, inviting atmosphere in which
to spend time.”

First-year law student Jamie Basham likes the atmosphere of the
BSC, but still sees the facility a mere financial benefit to the
University.

“As a law student, I enjoy the change of pace the BSC offers,”
Basham said. “The couches and chairs are comfortable places to
relax. However, there needs to be more of them. Overall, my general
impression of the BSC is that it is a ‘profit center.'”