University of Utah Carolyn And Kem Gardner Commons
Salt Lake City, UT
The historical Orson Spencer Hall opened in 1955 and housed the largest college at the University of Utah: the College of Social and Behavioral Science. The high-profile two-story building was the largest classroom building on campus at one time. However, it needed to be redeveloped to fit the needs of 21st-century learning and modern codes, in the case of a seismic event. The five-story Gardner Commons is the University of Utah’s largest undergraduate academic building: with 35 classrooms, collaborative space, research space, and faculty offices. The commons is also home to the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, 15 Departments and Institutes (including the Hinckley Institute of Politics), a consolidated center for Student Advising, the University Welcome Center, and a 150-seat Café/Study zone with four food venues and integrated study lounge seating. The Commons name is inspired by a higher mission to build a strong student community, as well as increase student retention and graduation rate.