PUB Love

Photo of the stairs and entryway of the PUB
Yet another award for Eastern’s most celebrated building.


When the renovated Pence Union Building celebrated its grand reopening in 2019, pretty much everyone in attendance agreed Eastern’s stunning new space was a winner. It didn’t take long for the architectural world to agree.

Over the past three years, the PUB has claimed no less than five state and national awards for design and usage. The latest came earlier this year, when the Society for College and University Planning, or SCUP, awarded the building its top award in the category of Excellence in Architecture for Building Additions, Renovation or Adaptive Reuse. Eastern and other 2022 award winners are featured on the SCUP website and this past summer’s issue of Learning By Design magazine.

Facade of the Pence Union Building (PUB)

“The redesign creates an easy-to-navigate, open-concept layout that is infused with natural light,” the Learning By Design citation says. “The renovated building maintains the traditional campus aesthetic of red brick but introduces modern elements of metal, glass and wood that connect the structure from the inside and out.”

Perkins+Will, a Chicago-based firm with offices in Seattle, created the design that rethought and repurposed the original 1960s “brutalist” building into a modern-day hub for university activities.

Built by Spokane construction firm Leone & Keeble, the 126,000-square-foot renovated building (featured on the cover of Eastern magazine’s Spring/Summer 2019 issue) includes a welcoming, light-infused atrium and trendy spaces for dining, shopping and learning.