Olson Kundig Architects
Located on the west edge of the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Washington, the Visitor Center is the new gateway for students and guests to the university. This design-build project was completed from design through construction in just 10 months.
The 4,277 SF building serves as a showcase for the wide-ranging activities that make up the university. The building design features a number of materials largely developed at WSU, and is a place for visitors to discover first-hand, the significant research contributions WSU has made to the construction industry. Included among these materials are cross-laminated timber, oriented strand board, and Pine beetle kill wood. Exhibits throughout the facility highlight WSU’s achievements in global animal health, food and agriculture, and clean technologies. Inside, interpretive interactives display the diverse talents that have emerged and continue to be fostered in this unique land grant institution that is Washington State University.
Fifteen-foot-tall W-S-U concrete letters mark the west end of the building and help support the large overhanging roof that rests above the glass pavilion. Supporting the opposite end of the pavilion roof is a forty-foot-tall, one-inch-thick steel plate tower, reminiscent of the historic Bryan Tower at the heart of campus. Composed of two curved and tapered lunettes, the two segments are pulled apart to provide an aperture for light and to admit entry. The tower glows with a white light at night, serving as a beacon of WSU spirit.