The College of Arts and Sciences at Valparaiso University is an addition to the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources (CCLIR). EHDD’s new academic building brings together nine departments and provides 95 faculty offices and support spaces, as well as ten classrooms and a Language Center. While the two buildings were always planned by the University to be physically connected, programmatically they function quite differently. Critical to bringing together the various departments was to create opportunities for the faculty to meet and interact in settings both formal meeting spaces and informal shared administrative and support spaces and a Faculty Commons area.
As an addition, the building respects the signature massing of the EHDD-designed CCLIR by using clean volumes and similar materials. However, it establishes its own identity through the striking articulation of those materials. The design identity for College of Arts Sciences crystallized with the development of a digitally fabricated screen element over the main entrance to the building. Inspired by the University’s Latin motto – “In Luce Tua Videmus Lucem,” which translates to “In Thy Light, We See Light” – the screen plays on the idea of light as a metaphor for knowledge and education. The word light is translated into thirty-nine languages, including the nine that are taught on the Valparaiso campus, and incorporated into a lattice design cut out of an aluminum plate. During the day, the screen reflects the sunlight against the backdrop of the building materials; at night, the interior spaces glow, setting the letters in relief. The screen has become a focal point for the entire University.