University of Rochester


Intercultural And Language Center Planning Assessment

In 2014 the University of Rochester hired B&D to produce a programming and planning assessment. The university desired to repurpose a portion of the Frederick Douglass Building, as the campus bookstore recently had moved to its new College Town location. A new Intercultural Center was planned to be part of this repurposing project. The university had identified 7,800 SF of the Frederick Douglass Building to house the Center. The Center promotes cultural awareness and engagement, educates on issues of culture and diversity, and provides opportunities for collaboration and cross-cultural programming among faculty, staff, and students. To help achieve its goals, the Center would include a seminar/conference room, multipurpose room, resource center, exhibition gallery, and kitchen/dining area. Additionally, the Frederick Douglass Building was envisioned to include the following spaces:

• A language center to augment and strengthen the more than 20 global cultural student organizations that had limited visibility and resources, as well as to provide technology and support for language learning, scholarship, and teaching
• A student event space to facilitate meetings, rehearsals, performances, and other programs for the more than 250 campus groups.
• A dining facility that would meet or exceed comparable offerings at peer institutions.

We provided guidance for the initial planning of the project through administrator interviews, focus groups, preliminary programming, and a review of architectural drawings.