Warch Campus Center – Lawrence University

Appleton, WI

Replacing a 1950’s era student union, Lawrence University wanted a central gathering space where the campus community and the Appleton community can find places to eat, study, congregate, and recreate. Sited over the Fox River, the Warch Campus Center includes a ceremonial reception, exhibit, and dining functions for up to 500 people, divisible activity and instruction spaces with sprung floor, offices and work spaces for student organizations, convenience and logo stores, a 134-seat cinema, student programming space, and performance space.

Sustainable design was a priority for the University and the project team. The project was awarded LEED Gold certification- the first higher education facility in Wisconsin to receive this award. Features include a “green” vegetated roof system, low-flowing plumbing fixtures, efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and an organic garden run by students that supports food services.

The Warch Campus Center has enriched the campus fabric by connecting the natural and built environment. By using effective site orientation, the design enhances views up and down the river
to Appleton’s historic paper mills, river locks, and wooded pork lands.

The building design was a collaboration with KSS Architects.

Completed in 2009.


  • Daily Reporter Top Projects – Best In Show – 2009