Boise State hired firm to study upgrades, expansion to core campus building


A Boise architecture firm worked with Boise State to dream up a new direction for a long-standing part of the school’s Boise campus.

The existing liberal arts building sits near the central quad and dates back to 1967. Boise State’s master plan shows a “renewal and potential expansion” of the building and notes the site could hold a new three to four-story building.

The school worked with Hummel on a design exercise to envision what upgrades or expansion to the building could look like.

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“Through an iterative charette process with school representatives, our team developed the final concept for the 40,000 SF 4-story addition set apart from the existing Liberal Arts building with a tiered central plaza between the two,” Hummel said in a design brief on its website.

Glass and Greenbelt inspiration

Renderings show a new four-story structure connecting to the existing building, with large windows and a cantilevered design over the ground floor. The imagined design would create a courtyard between the existing building and new addition.

Rendering of possible Boise State Liberal Arts building. Via Hummel Architects

“The central plaza is dual purpose creating a place for social gathering between the two buildings while allowing more daylight into the spaces above,” Hummel’s team wrote. “Inspired by the greenbelt to the north of the site, a series of enclosed and open-air bridges span between the existing building and addition reaching across the courtyard.”

Hummel said the design was tailored to ensure sidelines to the nearby administration building were preserved.

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For now, Hummel’s work is only “conceptual,” according to a university spokesperson.

“Boise State University asked Hummel Architects to create conceptual drawings as part of a feasibility study to give us a number of scalable options,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement. “At this time, there are no plans to move forward with any of our options for expanding the Liberal Arts building on campus.”

The LA building is home to the school’s English and Art Departments, as well as the writing center and a visual arts center gallery.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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