New residence halls to provide a community feelingBy Jennifer Leovy
After months of communication between the University community and internationally acclaimed architect Ricardo Legorreta, the design for the new campus residence halls is well on its way to meeting the University and its students expectations.
Last spring, the architect met with groups of students who described their ideal residence hall. Several months and many discussions later, Legorretas preliminary design incorporates their ideas.
In the focus groups, our students thought it was important to create suites, said Steve Klass, Deputy Dean of Student Services. They also wanted students to be able to enjoy lots of public space and common areas, where they could gather and share as a community.
Responding to student and professional observations, Legorreta has designed an abundance of collective space for house meetings, study breaks and relaxation.
Students will have peace and privacy in suites that sleep two or four students and include a private bath. The halls also will include computer labs, TV rooms and recreational lounges.
As part of his plan, Legorreta also incorporated the Universitys house system, creating three buildings that are easily divided into eight houses with 70 to 100 students per house. The residence halls will have practice rooms for musicians and a language media commons.
Legorretas final designs will be completed this winter, and construction on the buildings will begin next spring.
Klass noted these residence halls, along with Regenstein Library and Bartlett Gymnasium, will create a north campus quadrangle that will serve as a new center of student activity on campus. Plans also are being made for the future conversion of Bartlett Gymnasium to a dining commons.