the campus grew. Given the significant value of the arches from both design and historic standpoints, Studio 483 Architects made the decision to work them into the Learning Commons’ central glass atrium, which will operate as the building’s centerpiece. As Dr. Marchiori and Dr. Weinert continue to walk through the atrium, they stop at yet another exquisite element—a 23-ton iron staircase, crafted in the architecture of essential elements similar to the spine. “These

design elements resonated

from true spinal anatomy, which is what makes this staircase so important to Palmer,” says Dr. Marchiori. “It connects closely to our mission

and, really, the spirit of who we are,” Dr. Weinert adds. The two tend to finish each other’s sentences, as if they both know what the other is thinking— and in a sense, they do, having worked together on this project for so long. “I can just imagine students coming

across the skywalk and then making their way down this staircase in awe,” says Dr. Marchiori.

Snaking upwards toward the second-floor classrooms,

the staircase went through many iterations before its current design was decided upon. Today, it stands alongside two ribcage sculptures that offer another focal point. Heading up the staircase, the two men pause to take in

the view; there’s a particular perspective this angle offers, distinguished by a succession of arches. “It’s just arch after arch after arch here,” says Dr.

Weinert. “It’s really quite expansive. The whole space feels monumental, especially given the ceiling height. I get a similar feeling when I enter the building through one of the arches and look at the staircase from there.” Above, the evening’s sunset lingers—bright oranges and pinks are dotted with clouds. Leaking through the ceiling’s skylights, the light sends illuminated rectangles across the floor. Outside, one can see fountains surrounded by landscaping. “When those fountains are turned on in springtime,

colored lights will be activated in the water—yellow, purple, and so forth. That’ll display a cycling of colors that’s just going to floor anyone who’s sitting next to these windows,” says Dr. Weinert. “It’ll be a show-stopper moment for folks.” In many ways, a whole new kind of show will begin when

the David D. Palmer Learning Commons opens this spring, one in which students will take center stage in a production that’s been carefully built for them—and for their future.

The David D. Palmer Learning Commons will be dedicated and open for tours during Palmer’s Homecoming, September 16-18, 2021.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32