Western’s newest on-campus residence, Alma Clark Glass Hall received the highest level of recognition, Honor Awards, from both the American Institute of Architects Washington Council (AIAWA), in the Civic Design category, and from the Northwest & Pacific AIA.
The Civic Design Awards celebrate quality design arising from collaboration between architects and their civic clients. Designed by Mahlum Architects in collaboration with Lydig Construction and Western, Clark Glass Hall was the only project to win Honor Awards in both categories, with jurors noting its great contribution toward supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus.
In addition, the residence hall received an award of merit for excellence in architecture in a new building from the Society for College and University Planning. It has also achieved LEED Gold certification.
Planning and design focused on equity, inclusion, sustainability, and opportunity, with goals of creating community, strong connections, and cultural understanding among students. Design challenges included bridging the 80-foot hill between north campus and the Ridgeway Complex in a way that makes the Ridge accessible to everyone and creating a vibrant, welcoming space. Beginning with student listening sessions, the “Shared Journey” pathway that forms a single accessible route for all residents and visitors was created.
The hall, which opened in September 2021, hosts the first Black Affinity Housing Community on Western’s campus, created in response to student feedback and requests for more identity centered spaces to advocate for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students on campus.
The residence hall is named after Alma Clark Glass, the first Black student to attend Western, in 1906. She is remembered as a confident, committed, and well-respected community leader who was deeply invested in advocacy work.