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  • USC Russell House
  • USC Russell House
  • USC Russell House
  • USC Russell House
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Russell House Renovations

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

This renovation of the Russell House, the University of South Carolina's student union, affected most of the Second Floor of the facility, including the main lobby and ancillary spaces. The goals for the renovation were three-fold: to update and brighten the dated aesthetic, to showcase the Heritage Wall, paying homage to the founders of the Russell House, former Governor and Mrs. Donald S. Russell, accompanied by a visual history of the Union, and to provide more functional and welcoming furnishings for the social and study habits of today's students. And all this was to be accomplishable within a tight construction schedule of just 35 days during a summer.

The original flooring, a dark brown brick, looked dated, absorbed most of the natural light, and was difficult to maintain. The use new terrazzo flooring with light field hues of white and warm grey instantly improved light levels, and coupled with university colors of a rich garnet and black gave the space a lively and active feeling to the space. Set in a dynamic pattern, the five colors initiated a natural flow and wayfinding with familiar 'feather' components of the University's 'Gamecock' logo.

The new furnishings, in casual arrangements, for various-sized groups, served to meet the students' current social needs, already increasing the 'usage numbers' since August. The centrally located Heritage Wall serves as a tribute to the Russell's and initiates a series of 'gallery walls' highlighting campus leaders for the thousands of alumni and students who return to the Union each year.

Project Team Members
Scott Garvin
Kim Bendillo
Steve Layne