Sverdrup Remodel Wins Design Excellence Award

Sverdrup Remodel Wins Design Excellence Award


The renovated central core of the Sverdrup Complex earned a Design Excellence Award in the Higher Education category from the International Interior Design Association’s Gateway Chapter. V Three Studios LLC, the architecture firm that oversaw the redesign, received the award during a ceremony on Oct. 24.

The newly remodeled facility features a sleek, modern interior with a fully integrated technical infrastructure throughout its purpose-built classrooms, labs, and studios, as well as a variety of informal gathering spaces for time between classes. The finishes in the space consist of natural woods, transparent glass panels, exposed metal materials, and colorful furniture accents that purposefully enhance the learning experience.

The Sverdrup Complex serves as home to Webster University’s School of Communications.

“The space was designed to support our hands-on approach to teaching and learning; we produce communication and media as well as study them. Similarly, the new facility is designed to encourage collaboration, access to emerging technologies, and to emulate the modern work environment,” said Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications. “While the primary users are students, faculty and staff in the School of Communications, the renovated classrooms as well as the social gathering areas are popular with students and faculty from every school and college at Webster.”

New features include a portable, reconfigurable television studio setup , a one-button studio to record instant video, a state-of-the-art student media lab for print, digital, and radio production, a design and production lab that supports the latest in animation, game design, and video post-production, and a testing and criticism studio that lets students test their digital creations in real-world situations. All the spaces are interconnected, which means that media created in one area can easily be played, shared or edited in another area in the building, as well as streamed to the world

The Design Excellence Award celebrates and recognizes superior design as judged by a distinguished panel of members from national IIDA chapters. The judges reviewed established criteria for the project nominations and selected V3’s design as the best in category. The panel commented about the Sverdrup renovation, “The project does a great job of using architectural details and volume to bring life to the space.”

The Sverdrup Complex opened in 1987 as three interconnected buildings along Big Bend Road on Webster University’s primary campus in St. Louis. It served as the home of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology until that school relocated to the East Academic Building in 2012. The School of Communications, which experienced tremendous growth, consolidated its faculty, staff and classes in the Complex.

The renovation covered 16,600 square feet in the center building and the east and west connecting atriums. The space includes open, flexible-use, collaborative workspaces, designed to support multimedia work, cross-disciplinary work, and collaboration. These areas also include media screens, digital signage, and audio-visual installation, worktables, both soft and task seating, and magnetic and pin-able wall surfaces to further encourage collaboration. The space also gives access to web-based technology and information.

Work on the building started in October 2017 and was completed by September of 2018. Besides V Three Studios, other key players in the design included Conference Technologies, Inc, which was responsible for the audio-visual integration, and Spellman Brady, which was responsible for the furniture.

For more information on the School of Communications or the Sverdrup Complex, visit