The Career Connections Center project entailed a complete, $6.8M renovation and expansion of the UF Career Resource Center, nearly doubling the existing 15,400 square foot facility. Prominently located on the first floor of the Reitz Union, the re-imagined 28,940 square foot Career Connections Center infills over 9,500 square feet of open space around the existing first floor, and incorporates over 4,500 square feet of dedicated space on the ground floor, unified by a new interior connecting stair.
A dynamic new entry transforms and emphasizes the connection between the Career Connection Center and the Reitz Union to attract visitors and encourage students to engage with the Center as an integral part of their college experience. An intervening 10° angle in the plan recognizes a relocated egress stair from the Ballroom above and maximizes infilled space. This canted intervention manifests itself as a reoccurring geometry throughout the center, including prominent locations at its entry and middle core which deliberately provide clear North-South views through the center.
Thinking beyond the limits of architecture, the Design Team placed themselves into the perspective of the Employees, Employers, and Students using the Center, and developed a unique, timeless solution to revitalize the Center through the implementation of a biophilic design concept; connecting human biology and the design of the built environment.
While the Career Connection Center seeks to engage students by offering an inviting, dynamic, professional environment where all feel welcome and comfortable, the concept of biophilic design seeks to create a habitat for people that satisfies our inherent need to connect with nature. The design provides a bridge to the professional world by fostering positive, sustained interactions and relationships among people and the natural environment. In turn, the Career Connections Center acts as the bridge that connects a student’s current and past life with their future professional life at the scales of the individual, university, and career as a whole.
The Architectural and Interior design contributed to this through:
The renovation and expansion of the Reitz Student Union, built in 1967, expanded facilities, services, and programs supporting the University of Florida’s diverse campus community, increased energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and greatly enhanced comfort and functionality.
Phase 1, the 100,000 sf addition, included entry and food court renovations, meeting rooms, lounges, dance rehearsal studios, a ballroom, and offices and support space for the Center for Leadership and Service, the Department of Student Activities and Involvement, the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, GatorWell Health Promotion Services, and student clubs and organizations.
Phase 2, the 50,000 sf renovation, included new energy-efficient windows and doors, restoration of exterior surfaces and structural components, replacement and upgrades of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, and upgrades to interior finishes and lighting.
Careful phasing ensured that the Reitz continued to serve UF’s 50,000 students throughout construction.
University of Florida
MEPF: Moses & Associates; Structural: Structural Engineers Group; Civil: CHW Professional Consultants
Taylor ResidenceCustom Residence
St Augustine Government House RehabilitationFirst LEED Certified Historic Building in Florida
Clinical Techniques & Skills Assessment LabDelivering a Premier Clinical Simulation Lab
University of Miami Life SciencesNanotechnology Researchers Gain a Highly Specialized Lab
Exactech Parking GarageWelcome to Exactech
Shands Facilities Administration BuildingOpen Plan Design Promotes Collaboration
Oak Hall School Media CenterCreating a Place of Wonder for Young Readers
Career Connections CenterThe Bridge from College to Professional Life
LifeSouth RenovationElevating the Donor Experience
Legal Advocacy CenterReal World Facility for Law Students
Indoor Tennis Practice FacilityNow Any Weather is Tennis Weather
Florida FFA HeadquartersFormer Daycare Re-purposed as Space for Emerging Leaders
IT PRO.tv RenovationA Launchpad for Online Learning
UF Graduate and Professional Student LoungesFocused Recreation
Chi Institute ExpansionModern Facility for Ancient Healing Arts
Basic Science Building Lab RenovationMaking an Old Laboratory New
Austin Cary Conference CenterNature Shapes Design
Facade Renovations for Trimark PropertiesA Distinctive Facade Within the Innovation District
Reitz Union Expansion and RenovationEmphasizing a Sense of Place for Gators
UF Health Family Medicine - Haile PlantationHealthcare as an Integral Neighborhood Element
Phi Mu Sorority HouseReorganized Spaces Provide Maximum Benefit