Page 40 - College Planning & Management, November 2017
P. 40

The University of Chicago
Opened in 2016, another building, Campus North Resi- dential Commons at the Uni- versity of Chicago, indicates key
rinen, features a great atrium intended to draw students out of their rooms and into shared space for interaction and col- laboration, or not. That is, the quality of together, alone — for example, keeping to oneself for work or rest, but in the midst of others — is easily plausible in such shared spaces. Mills + Schnoering Architects report- edly rejuvenated the original vi- sion with, among other things, new windows and shutters, sus- tainable LED lighting and other systems. Rich, vivid colors now help with wayfinding and adorn the fabrics of furniture.
Cornell Tech
Yet another student resi- dence, this one newly construct- ed, expresses the idea of collabo- ration, yet in ways and a setting very different: The highly energy- efficient — Passive House stan- dard — House at Cornell Tech’s new campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. According to the university, “The House has a wealth of collaborative space, from the multistory lobby, to informal mini-lounges on each residential level.” There is also a rooftop socializing space with
related trends: “Universities are increasingly interested in creat- ing spaces for students to learn, gather and socialize outside of the classroom,” says Paige Ad- ams, senior interior designer for project architect Studio Gang. “Programmatically, this build- ing definitely reflects that trend.”
The residence, she explains, “is designed to support the univer- sity’s House system, which groups students together in communities of 100 to foster academic and social success.” Campus North Residen- tial Commons is a complex of three slender, interconnected build- ings — “a House Hub,” or “home within three levels of residences” in Studio Gang parlance — with “each House organized around a three-story lounge where students study, cook, relax and attend all- House meetings. These hubs are flooded with natural daylight and connected on each floor to the resi- dents’ rooms,” Adams explains.
“Each House Hub has a pri- mary accent color expressed in furniture and interior architec- tural finishes. They also have a secondary accent color, which then becomes the main color in the next House,” says Ad- ams, explaining that “the colors weave a unifying thread through the Houses, linking them togeth- er while giving each a distinct
visual identity that the students can embrace as their own.”
The interior, she says, also provides “creative outlets like musical practice rooms alongside group study spaces and lounges. The interiors are designed to ad- dress the specific program needs of the students as well as the Uni- versity’s House tradition.”
The Dining Commons has a sleek, elegant interior and, in one detail, features a large, ring ceiling light that invokes both the shared nature of the space and a circular plaza ringed with trees outside. In another detail, the Dining Commons has rows of long tables that can seat an en- tire House at a time, with addi- tional seating for students from other residence halls and faculty on campus, “or even community members unaffiliated with the university,” Adams says.
The University of Pennsylvania
The striving for community is evident in another project, this time an $80 million renova- tion of the Hill College House at the University of Pennsylvania. Reopened in September 2017, the 1960s building, designed by renowned architect Eero Saa-

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