New offices help SIU staff, students

JASPER, IN — When the Salukis from Southern Illinois University (SIU), Carbondale, needed furnishings for the new Boydston Athletic Center and renovated Morris Library, they wanted products that would blend well between private offices, reception areas, student workstations, and formal and casual meeting spaces. The products needed to represent the professional identity and style of each building, yet offer durability to service staff and students’ needs for many years. The university partnered with local furniture dealer, Stiles Office Solutions, to identify flexible, customizable solutions that met the changing and growing demands of student and faculty life on campus.

The new 50,000 sq. ft. SIU Boydston Center opened in October 2010 and is home to the university’s football and basketball teams. The athletic department sought furnishings that represented the same high-standard, professional product presented by their student-athletes and coaches. “One of the integral factors was selecting durable, modern furniture that would be impressive to student-athletes and future recruits at our university,” said Jason King, Senior Associate Athletic Director at SIU. “We needed products we could customize with logos, colors, and finishes — Kimball Office provided that.”

The university chose the Kimball(R) Office | interstuhl(R) seating line Axos(TM) for executive and side seating. “When new recruits visit the SIU campus and Boydston Center, the office furniture is one of the first things they see. To help leave an impression, we embroidered the Saluki’s logo on the headrest of Axos, and created conference areas in the coaches’ offices,” said Allen Parker, Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

Designing the coaches’ offices posed a challenge for designers, in that the space needed to serve both as an individual office and collaborative area for team meetings with 10 to 20 student-athletes. By integrating lounge seating with side tables into the private office setting, these offices serve a dual purpose. “It was important for these areas to flow well when there are no athletes in the office. We made sure these large rooms had enough furniture to accommodate everyone, but had to find a balance so the space didn’t look overwhelmed,” added King.

The remainder of the athletic facility is furnished with Fluent(R) and Footprint(R) casegoods, Pose(R) lounge and Hero. Just For You(TM) seating.

When SIU recently renovated Morris Library, it was an opportunity to tailor furnishings to the space. “We needed furniture that was functional, but would blend well together, so when you went from one office into another it clearly tied together,” said Susan Tulis, Associate Dean at Morris Library.

The library serves as the epicenter for several university functions including civil service, student workers, faculty, administrative, and professional staff. One of the challenges of the space was choosing pieces that would coordinate between private offices, cubicles, and student meeting spaces. A person’s responsibilities could easily shift from requiring significant storage one day to a large work surface the next. The facility needed durable furnishings that met these changing needs. “Our offices each have different uses and purposes and we wanted furniture that could mix and match depending upon what was being done in a particular office,” said Tulis.

In an effort to match furniture with the use of the space, private offices were furnished with Transcend(R) wood casegoods and complemented by Footprint laminate and metal casegoods and the Cetra(R) panel and Traxx(R) wall systems in workstations and student offices. “The beauty of what we chose was we could put a wood desk where select staff worked, and then integrate laminate tops on the common tables in other areas to protect them. The flexibility between lines was key,” added Tulis.

About Kimball Office
A recognized leader in fine workplace furnishings, Kimball(R) Office has been building its reputation on quality and integrity of design for over 40 years. Kimball Office serves the business and institutional market with desks, seating and open plan furniture in multiple materials and in many styles and options. A full line of products provides solutions to a broad range of businesses and institutions. The company is a brand unit of Kimball International Inc., a $1.2 billion publicly traded company headquartered in Jasper, Indiana.

SOURCE: Kimball Office

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