University of Houston Asian American Studies Center
The Asian American Studies Center (AASC) at the University of Houston was established to provide an academic home for Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander students. In addition, the Center offers resources that promote partnerships between the University and the Asian and Asian American communities worldwide. Located within the Department of Education, the four-story, concrete structure of Farish Hall provides a unique backdrop to the distinct character of the AASC space. The 1,215-square-foot project features a reception space, offices, board room and support spaces as both Eastern and Western influences are integrated into the design.
Red accents are visible throughout the space as an acknowledgement of the Asian culture, including a traditional lacquered wall that screens the break room and is a striking feature in the reception area. This is balanced with the use of modern fumed eucalyptus wood veneer elements, seen throughout the space. A large display wall greets visitors upon arrival. This wall exhibits collectibles given to the director by foreign visitors and communicates the close ties that the AASC program has with the global community. As part of the project, students were engaged in a competition to develop a new logo, and an abstract interpretation of the winning design was executed in a wood screen. This was added behind the reception desk to give privacy to the occupants while letting visitors experience natural light and the beautiful campus seen through the director’s office.