The new student union

Pratt students have a newly redesigned space where they can spend time, build community, and hold events. The Student Union on the Brooklyn campus has now reopened after undergoing renovations to enhance the facility and improve the environment for student club meetings and community gatherings, as well as provide needed office space. A ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by President Frances Bronet, Vice President for Student Affairs Helen Matusow-Ayres, members of the Student Government Association, and an enthusiastic crowd of students, faculty, and staff, was held on September 6 to celebrate the opening of the renovated space.  

“Pratt students have waited a very long time for this wonderful space, full of light and functionality. The community is already utilizing every nook and cranny,” said Helen Matusow-Ayres, Vice President for Student Affairs. “The new Student Union is the perfect place to build a stronger, more engaged community.”

Inside the student union

Pratt alumnus Juan C. Matiz, BArch ’94, founder of Matiz Architecture & Design, served as the principal architect on the project. In order to ensure that the new Student Union would adequately meet the diverse needs of Pratt’s student body, the Student Government Association (SGA) held a campus-wide design charrette in 2013. “The Student Government Association invited students to explore ideas for transforming the underutilized Student Union building into an everyday center for student life at Pratt,” said Matthew Kipel, B.Arch '13, who served on the SGA during that period. Commenting on the finished project, he said, “It’s exciting to see how the completed renovation incorporates many of those ideas. It creates a variety of flexible, collaborative spaces for creative and social interaction that will benefit the entire Pratt community.”

The Student Union is one of Pratt Institute’s three original structures, and is located in a one-and-a-half story brick building designed by architect William Tubby.

Image: (top) The Student Union (bottom) Courtesy of Matiz Architecture & Design and Studio Abe