Rose-Hulman Pi-Vilion Wins Statewide Architecture Award

Monday, October 12, 2020
Image shows the Pi-Vilion with Mussaellem Union in the background.

The Indiana chapter of the American Institute of Architects praised Rose-Hulman’s new Pi-Vilion for its clean yet bold design and contribution to student well-being.

Rose-Hulman’s new pavilion has earned a top architecture award for design excellence from the Indiana chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Known as the Pi-Vilion following a campus-wide naming contest, the structure was added to the institute’s facilities last year thanks to a $1.5 million gift from Linda and Mike Mussallem.

“Linda and Mike wanted the pavilion to expand on their original vision for the student union, which was to promote healthy living while giving students a place to meet and unwind. This award confirms how well their vision has been realized,” says Rose-Hulman President Rob Coons.

The Pi-Vilion was designed by Ratio Architects, which announced the award in a news release this week.

The facility officially opened during Homecoming celebrations in 2019. At that time, students were challenged to name the new facility. Seth Frey, a mechanical engineering major from Terre Haute, submitted the winning name.

“I came up with the name because we use pi a lot in equations and it just made sense with the pavilion,” Frey says. “It’s an honor ["Pi-Vilion" was selected].”

By having his submission chosen, Frey earned the right to host a steak dinner on the pavilion grill for himself and his guests. “I plan to have as many of my friends come as I’m allowed,” he says.

The Pi-Vilion earned the AIA’s Indiana Honor Award in the category of New Construction. Judges praised the structure for its clean design, integration into the existing landscape, and contribution to student social and emotional wellness.

“The siting, restrained construction, dynamic daylighting, openness, landscape and framed views of the White Chapel across the pond are effective catalysts for reflection and regeneration,” wrote one of the judges.

The mostly glass and steel Pi-Vilion includes a green roof, infrared heaters, ceiling fans, spacious indoor seating, and an outdoor grilling area all located adjacent to the Mussallem Union.

Mike Mussallem graduated from Rose-Hulman in 1974 with a degree in chemical engineering. He is chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences, based in Irvine, California.