Purdue University, Memorial Union

Purdue Memorial Union (PMU) stands as the cornerstone of campus life as a cherished historic landmark. Dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment and enriching the student and community experience, the PMU was originally designed by the renowned architectural firm Pond and Pond and completed in 1924. One unique aspect of the original design is the lower level, which features clerestory windows positioned five feet below the finish grade, creating accessibility challenges that have influenced the courtyard redesign.


Purdue University

Project Size:


West Lafayette, IN





Landscape Architecture

In Association With:

Workshop Architects



Hadley Fruits

Our multidisciplinary team, comprising of architects, engineers, restoration specialists, and other experts, tackled these challenges with innovative solutions. The unique location of the PMU necessitated careful and selective demolition of existing elements while seamlessly integrating new design features.

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The new courtyards are transformative, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all. The west courtyard features an accessible sloped walkway leading to the PMU's ground floor, now enhanced with a new entry and vestibule. This courtyard includes eighteen-inch-tall seat walls, a shade structure with integrated lighting, and movable tables and chairs, offering flexible dining and study options. Comfortable lounge seating with cantilevered umbrellas and a fire pit encourage conversation and relaxation.

Designed for entertainment, the east courtyard boasts a small built-in stage equipped with power and lighting, along with movable tables, chairs, and lounge seating for optimal viewing of performances.

The bright, colorful, and contextual design vocabulary of these new courtyards provides the PMU with a welcoming "front porch," redefining the arrival experience and making it accessible to all.

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