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Across Atlanta, universities start school year with intriguing architectural additions

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From Emory and Oglethorpe to Georgia Tech, these structures are more than utilitarian college buildings

Three-story building with white walls, large windows and a wood canopy.
The Emory Student Center is one of several campus additions around the city right now.
Duda|Paine Architects

As college students across the city get settled into new dorm rooms and start navigating fall semester schedules, they’ll also find notable new additions on campus.

For instance, at Emory University, the school just completed a 130,000-square-foot student center under the guidance of Duda|Paine Architects and MHTN Architects.

Fittingly, the Emory University Student Center’s design was focused on collaborative space and community building.

Features of the new three-story facility include meeting and multipurpose rooms, a high-tech gaming and recreation lounge, a convenience store, and a food center.

Outside, two shaded pavilions provide additional gathering space.

The building also brings many eco-friendly aspects, such as LED lighting, solar-tracking shades on exterior glass walls, a green roof, and 400-foot-deep geothermal wells in nearby McDonough Field to aid in heating and cooling the building.

A three-story building with glass and white walls.
The new Emory Student Center’s modernistic facade.
Duda|Paine Architects

Over at Oglethorpe University, the school starts the year with the I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation ready for occupation.

Formerly known as Goslin Hall, the 40,000-square-foot facility retains the building’s Collegiate Gothic origins while incorporating contemporary elements.

A long, three-story building with glass walls mixed with stone walls.
Glass walls reign in the updated I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation at Oglethorpe.
Cooper Carry

Designed by Cooper Carry, the updated structure not only includes a renovation of the 1971 building, but also a 25,000-square-foot, U-shaped addition.

Inside, updated laboratory facilities are accompanied by “The Garage,” which features a stage, tiered bleacher seating, and an industrial garage door opening to a quad-level outdoor terrace.

A classroom with round table and chairs, plus a look down a staircase at students seated in chairs.
Olgethorpe’s updated building houses laboratories, classrooms, and gathering spaces for students.
Cooper Carry

At Georgia Tech, the school’s “Living Building,” The Kendeda Building, is rapidly approaching completion.

According to the project’s timeline, the building was targeted for completion and move-in this month, but the impressive, self-sustaining facility is not quite done just yet.

A two-story building with a large canopy over sidewalks and future green space.
Georgia Tech’s “Living Building” is close to final completion.
Georgia Tech

A look at the live camera on the job site shows exterior landscaping remains on the “to do” list, along with completion of the interior. An updated final date of completion has not been announced beyond “early fall.”

As reported earlier, changes to Georgia State University’s campus have been delayed, with the demolition of Kell Hall and Library Plaza on Peachtree Center Avenue put on hold.

Look for those structures to be removed in the coming weeks and replaced with green space.

A construction photo showing the dismantling of a six-story building.
Georgia State University’s Kell Hall will make way for more downtown park space.
Sean Keenan, Curbed Atlanta