Spectrum Design Architecs | Engineers

Guilford College - Founders Hall

Greensboro, North Carolina

Founders Hall is the most centrally located building on the Guilford College campus. It houses the majority of student organization offices, as well as the college's dining facilities, bookstore, health services, and mail services. As a hub for student activity, it also features a black box theatre space, dance studio, and multiple lounge and meeting spaces. Its exterior architecture is consistent with other buildings on campus but, as college administrators are beginning to realize, its interior spaces do not resonate with an evolving student population.

Spectrum Design has been chosen to renovate Founders Hall to better meet the needs of the Guilford College community. Plans include the creation of a glass atrium through the center spine of the building to improve circulation. The new atrium will provide two new entry pavilions on either side of the facility, as well as additional and expanded entry points to the main lobby, entry floor lounge, and dining areas (including a new separate entrance to the more formal Walnut Dining Room).

An expanded, split-level dining room will feature outdoor eating spaces and an additional check-in station to avoid long wait times. A rear open stairwell in the dining room will provide a new access point to the lower level lobby and to the recently renovated Founders Grill cafe.

On the lower level, student mailboxes will be relocated to a larger space below the new center atrium, permitting easier flow of traffic and an expanded, more welcoming area for mail services. An exterior entrance will be added to the college's bookstore, and the addition of windows will heighten the area's visibility and better showcase the bookstore to potential students. The lower level will also house expanded spaces for career planning, community learning, and health services.

Upper level plans include widening the main hallway between student organization offices and creating a new work area from an existing office space to allow for increased day lighting along the hall. The existing upper level commons will also benefit from a round opening cut into the floor to overlook the main lobby, maximizing ceiling space for an open feel, but minimizing unused floor space.

The renovated building will be LEED-certified. Additional plans include upgrades to existing restrooms, including additional toilets and improved ADA accessibility, as well as upgrades to the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.