Wittich Hall – College of Business Administration
State of Wisconsin
La Crosse, WI
The transformation of Wittich Hall from the home of the Physical Education program to the College of Business Administration (CBA), required the team to make interventions that would allow the space to support the functional needs of the users and reflect the architecture of our times. Through careful study of the building and coordination with the Wisconsin Historic Society, the team identified areas of significant historic value and mapped out ways to maintain the memory of the past by balancing original architecture with modern design.
The building’s interior emphasizes the distribution of natural lighting, simple architectural detailing and a subtle material palette that allow the spaces connect seamlessly. On the upper floors, the design accentuates the volume of the original gymnasiums by allowing the second and third floors to connect. The original roof trusses remained exposed and uninterrupted alongside skylights that were reconstructed to provide usable daylight within the space. Pieces of the original running track were salvaged, milled, and re-purposed throughout the building. The result is a clean, modern and inviting environment that respects and showcases the historic features of the building while creating a new home for the students and faculty of the CBA.