Client, Year

Loyola University, 2022

Services

Wayfinding
Architectural Signage
ADA Signage
Murals & Supergraphics
Donor Recognition

Awards / Press

Photography

Fernandez Center for Innovation
& Collaborative Learning

Conceptually shaping a campus addition

The Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation Center for Innovation & Collaborative Learning is a new 35,000-square-foot facility at Loyola University Maryland. Its addition to the campus reshaped the main academic quad from a traditional gathering space into a centralized learning hub. Inspired by the Jesuits’ dedication to transformative education, Ashton designed a high-concept wayfinding and donor system that amplified the university’s mission while helping visitors interact with the space.

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To create a new entry point to campus, Loyola had combined the brand new Fernandez Center with Beatty Hall, a 100-year-old “Collegiate Gothic” building. As a result, it was essential to devise an interactive experience that seamlessly guided visitors indoors, outdoors, and between the two different structures.

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Key donor highlights help visually unify the site, ranging in placement from main facades to more reflective spaces among lounges and pathways.

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Paper, a breakthrough innovation of its own, inspired the sign types. Using real-life prototypes, we developed a “folded” appearance for donor recognition plaques, distraction graphics, and two-piece crosses. These modern interpretations underscore the unique dynamic between the state-of-the-art facility and the Jesuits’ enduring educational legacy.

The “L” shapes are also a subtle nod to the Jesuits’ founder and university’s namesake, Ignatius of Loyola.

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Painted stairwell graphics took the folding concept one step further. Inspirational quotes wrap the otherwise utilitarian spaces in both the Fernandez Center and Beatty Hall and help create a cohesive visitor experience between the two buildings.

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Incorporating historic items brought the past into the present and highlighted the Jesuits’ rich legacy of supporting education and innovation.

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Outside, an installation featuring stained glass from Xavier Hall honors the small chapel that once stood on the site of the new Fernandez Center. Inside, the culinary engine behind all great inventions—the cafe—also benefits from an inspired approach to refueling and regrouping.

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