Purdue University engaged Ayers Saint Gross to conduct a series of concurrent planning and design studies to align with its 150th anniversary celebration. Focused on strengthening the school’s identity, a kit of parts was developed to identify locations and a consistent architectural language for gateways of varying scales on campus. As a result, the arrival experience was enhanced with gateways that are authentic to Purdue’s history and ethos.
The main gateway, located at the State and Grant Street intersection, was transformed to create an unmistakable threshold to the center of campus. Framing one of Purdue’s most beloved buildings—the Purdue Memorial Union—this gateway serves as both a physical and symbolic sense of arrival, and has become a favorite photo opportunity for students, visitors, and alumni. Influenced by the Boilermaker tradition and character, the gateway integrates welded steel elements and exposed bolts, robust limestone and brick masonry piers and walls. Designed to complement the existing campus context, this project was completed in association with MKSK.
The $1.9 million gateway is the first of what a new 50-year Purdue master plan says will be nearly two dozen, of various sizes and styles.