Student campus living, to be profitable, must be about the experience.
The concept of the 24 hour campus has been transformed into supportive communities of students living interdependently, creating unique and independent districts of breathing buildings, each with its own sense of identity and style. It is within this mixed-use environment for student housing where resources are intended to be shared across campus. Each district, or residential college, where students live and learn is intended to continually develop and never to be stagnate or isolated. A village belongs to its location and must be located as if it has always belonged. This is achieved by implementing contemporary urban design “smart city” programs and “innovation district” philosophies. The thriving campus has many centers from which activity is directed and focused by utilizing creative pedestrian horizontal and vertical circulation patterns for spontaneous opportunities to express thoughts.
New Concepts in Student Living
This new platform for student living supports a common humanity with activated spaces in co-living styles of residential floor plans. These surroundings enhance the “stay on campus, live on campus” ideals for active student life and academic success through inter-communal connections in the fabric of the campus experience.
15 Minutes to Everything
This forms the overlay for the “15-minutes to everything” walkable city ideals, or mixed-zone neighborhoods, where students can walk or bike to class, work, recreation and retail. Open space arenas are established in an all-inclusive environment, which is obtainable within a car-less 15-minute radius of their on-campus residences. These self-sufficient districts are to be distributed across the campus matrix and function as urban villages that coexist, acting as a self-contained “city within a city.”
Creating Discovery Districts
Discovery Districts are an immersive, mixed-use destination, including restaurants, retail, and shared use work spaces for a diversity of academic disciplines, to allow for walkable immersive moments of lighting, visible motion, and sound splashed up onto media walls, which are intentionally left blank for just these spontaneous moments of surprise. These Main Street, Souk, Marketplace atmospheres with their assorted mixed-use experiences are intended for education, socialization and thought provoking moments of individuality.
Opportunities for unique pocket neighborhoods are enhanced and encouraged. Creative student developed pop-up shopping ideas can provide unique dining, culture, retail, art-as-entertainment and engagement center options for students to immerse themselves in their campus experience. Each of these unique “pop up” style opportunities may last for a week or for a single day, bringing vibrant student and faculty interactions implemented in creative uses and ways.
Affordability is Everything
The need for affordable sheltering of students must meet the needs of the entire community, and allow for flexibility over time. The shortage of affordable student living opportunities does not need to create a shortage of quality in affordable home design. Affordable student housing should not look or feel like affordable housing. These are the homes that create a unique community of residents providing individuality, security and identity.
The new platform for student living is reflective of affordable, high-density, mixed-use, urban innovation districts, multifamily communities and inclusive neighborhoods. Successful student residences and academic excellence are achieved by providing affordable and sustainable developments that accentuate the college experience that must be unique to each campus. The benefits to each student of their campus experiences must be visual and easily expressible.
An Attachment to Place
Designing an attachment to place is a platform that Westberg White Architecture Residential has developed to create transformative communities of affordable housing for student living. With more than 35 years of education and on campus architectural experience, Westberg White Architecture Residential brings the synergy of 35 years of high-density affordable attached housing to complement the pairing.
By reducing the number of individual unit types, and creatively repeating the modules to achieve the desired matrix ratios and façade articulation, reduces on-site labor and construction time. The design and layout of these residential spaces are focused on open interior, centralized gathering areas for individuals within their student communities, while providing areas of discovery and niches for privacy. There is a seamless and fluid designed connection to the exterior spaces to allow the textures of natural light, air and landscaping to enter into each space. Vehicle and pedestrian horizontal and vertical circulation patterns are simplified in this equity for a housing model that is inclusive and promotes walkable and connected neighborhoods. Elevators are centrally located in communal spaces, forcing students to interact as they walk through.
The implementation of advanced modular design construction techniques and innovations is a proven method to achieve affordable construction. This is expressed in the designing of high-density homes on a 4-foot by 4-foot overlaid grid, which also just happens to be the manufactured dimensions of both plywood and gypsum board. This eliminates the need for cutting, specialized labor and excessive construction waste by-products. Cost-effective constructability, functionalities, adjacencies and value engineering models are evaluated early in the design process.
By using modular design ideals and common building materials that were once considered unattractive, these natural elements are turned into integrated affordable and sustainable structures. Materials like cross-laminated timber, composite roofing, concrete block, exposed plywood, compressed composite wood panels, corrugated metals, bendable polycarbonate double walled sheets, metal meshes, formed concrete thermal walls and flooring are appealing in their essential forms without paint, plaster, or any other cosmetics to hide the essence of their inherent natural beauty. By utilizing inventive and innovative design concepts to create affordable building systems, materials and elements are achieved by eliminating ornate trim and the unnecessary “planting on” of framing members, which have historically been used to achieve building massing. The utilization of cost-efficient natural materials is emphasized and embraced.
Passive Solar. Sustainable Design.
By implementing sustainable design guidelines and design standards for passive energy building and sustainable practices to save energy and provide comfortable home environments, passive solar, net zero and sustainable design is achieved.
The following concepts are provided:
- Mass Timber Construction: Offers a 76 percent reduction in Global Warming Potential overall when compared with steel and concrete buildings.
- Orientation: The buildings are orientated and elongated on their east-west axis for increased winter sun exposure and to minimize their north-side exposure.
- Passive Solar Heating: Is achieved by selection and placement of window and shading elements.
- Passive Cooling: Is achieved by allowing cool coastal air to enter the buildings and by allowing the hot air to naturally leave the buildings. Solar chimneys should be utilized.
- Natural Lighting: The quantity and the sources of natural illumination are to be maximized to show the passing of time.
A Commitment to the Campus
We believe our strength to you is our commitment to each project by incorporating the principals of our firm. This helps set us apart from our competitors as each client will receive the personalized “hands-on” principal involvement throughout every meeting, planning, design development and evolution of the projects development.
The “To Build a City” platform pioneered by Westberg White Architecture Residential, brings 35 years of campus and education architectural experience, combined with 35 years of high density attached residential, multifamily and mixed use experience to distinguish a new platform for affordable, sustainable student homes for the community college campus, to promote a individualistic blend for the new learn live experience.
© 2021 BSM
Bradley Mansfield has 35 years of professional Architectural experience in proven leadership which allows him to be actively involved with the complete processes of planning, design, entitlement, documentation and construction to ensure each project experience and the defined expectations of the client are exceeded. This is achieved by providing quality design and superior deliverables in a diverse array of project types, specializing in transit oriented, affordable, high density, mixed-use, and multi-family developments.