UWM Student Union Ballroom

Milwaukee, WI
Integrating Existing Elegance with High-Tech Upgrades into an Adaptive, Multi-Use Room

At A Glance

  • SUMMARY: Renovation of multipurpose ballroom
  • SIZE: 21,000 sf
  • COMPLETION: 2003
  • CONSTRUCTION COST: $1.9 million
  • OWNER: State of Wisconsin, Division of Facilities Development, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
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Project Overview

Continuum renovated 21,000 sf of UWM’s Student Union to create multi-purpose event space that accommodates 900 people for formal gatherings, performances, or conferences. The work required updated and attractive aesthetics and the integration of a vast number of technology upgrades. Crucial to creating flexible meeting space is a room that is adaptable in layout, lighting options, and audiovisual capabilities. The original design expresses the beauty of pure structure which created a challenge when adding a significant amount of electrical and communication wiring or ceiling-mounted equipment. In order to maintain the essence of the space, curved ceiling mounted perforated panels were added to conceal the integration of cabling, cameras, video projectors, lighting systems, and speakers.

The renovation also included a new operable partition to separate the Ballroom into two large meeting areas. All finishes, lighting and furniture were redesigned and updated. The support spaces were reorganized to create an improved traffic pattern around the Ballroom and the Fireside Lounge. An abandoned servery was removed to create comfortable breakout spaces.


  • Finalist Award, American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin (ACEC), 2004
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