creating places that work

Franciscan University

/ Student and Learning Commons

Baton Rouge, LA

Student and Learning Commons Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

Project Details


Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Health Care System,


75,000 SF

Completion Date:

November 2023

Project Overview

Provide a campus front door with an iconic building providing students and faculty a place that encourages education, social interaction, engagement and collaboration

Meet various programmatic requirements including state of the art Simulation Environment Teaching Hospital (SETH) lab, student study areas, classrooms, administration suite, library and testing center

Introduce a new architectural language for future buildings and campus development

Provide gateway to campus and iconic imagery identifying itself as a Catholic institution

Fast Facts

19,000 SF of Glazed Curtain Wall

200+ Tons of Structural Steel

20,000 SF Simulation Environment Teaching Hospital (SETH)

20,000 SF of Student common areas

12,000 SF of Management / Administration Office Suites

First floor:

Open multi-use space / Library / Testing Lab / large format classroom space

Second floor:

Administration Offices / SETH Lab (outpatient care setting) / Student Dining

Third floor:

Faculty Offices (President’s Suite) / SETH Lab (hospital setting)

Providing a Gateway

Our primary design challenge was creating a new cornerstone for a growing young university. Early design concepts bridged over an open-air breezeway from street front to formal quadrangle. In order to provide a common area at the very primary point of campus, large enough for full campus Catholic Mass, this eventually became the glass structure in place today, highlighted by a 16’ tall San Damiano cross serving as a welcome beacon when arriving to the campus.

A 40’ tall, perforated metal screen perforated with St Francis’s iconic form punctuates the street facing elevation in order to signify the importance of his mission within the university. “The new St Francis Hall is going to be such a gift to the students who will be studying at Fran U. I doubt that there will be another nursing school and allied health program that will offer students the experience that Fran U will have to offer in these new facilities.” – Deacon Terry Bellon, Class of ’94 - Nursing

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