Designing for a rite of passage
Residential life on campus provides colleges and universities with a singular opportunity to integrate the living and learning environments of diverse groups of students into their mission. It is an experiment in young adults learning to live together, engaging with one another in situations both cerebral and humdrum, growing and expanding amid those daily interactions with others. So it should come as no surprise that the best current student housing is focused on intentional use of space and organization based on these key guidelines:
• Living/learning communities improve student success.
• Integrating classrooms into residence halls can bring revenue to academic programs and encourage on-site living/learning.
• Residential unit typologies are most successful when tailored to student demographics.
• Community size should be supported by a proportionate amount and type of amenities.
• Social kitchens and fireplaces are the figurative hearths of student housing.
• New furniture and paint can transform outdated common spaces with an updated “cool” factor.