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. 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.
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.
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 the experience. Each of these unique “marketplace” style opportunities may last for a week or for a single day, bringing vibrant student and faculty interactions implemented in creative uses and ways.
These self-sufficient districts would be distributed across the campus and function as urban villages that coexist, acting as a self-contained “city within a city.”
This new platform for student living supports a common humanity with activated spaces in co-living styles of residential floor plans. These surroundings will enhance the “stay on campus, live on campus” ideals for active student life through inter-communal connections in the fabric of the campus experience.
Affordability, Sustainability, and The Experience – In That Order
The need for affordable sheltering of students must meet the needs of the entire community, and allow for flexibility over time. A village belongs to its location and must be located as if it has always belonged. The shortage of affordable student living opportunities does not need to create a shortage of quality. 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 is unique to each campus.
An Attachment to Place
Designing an attachment to place is a platform that Westberg White Architecture has developed to create transformative communities of affordable housing for student living. Westberg White Architecture has more than 34 years of education and campus experience, and brings 35 years of high-density affordable housing to complement the pairing.
Westberg White Architecture utilizes inventive and innovative design concepts to create affordable building systems and elements by eliminating ornate trim and the unnecessary plant on framing members, which have historically been used to achieve building massing. The utilization of cost-efficient natural materials is emphasized and embraced.
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 and their friends, while providing areas of discovery and other niches for privacy. There is a seamless and fluidly designed connection to the exterior spaces to allow the textures of light, air and landscaping to enter the homes. 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.
The implementation of advanced modular design and construction techniques and innovation is a proven method to achieve affordable construction. This is expressed in the designing of high-density homes on a 4-foot by 8-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 structures. Materials like cross-laminated timber, composite shingle roofing, concrete block, plywood, compressed wood panels, formed concrete thermal panels and flooring are appealing in their essential forms without paint, plaster, or any other cosmetics to hide the essence of their inherent natural beauty.
Passive Solar. Sustainable Design
By implementing sustainable practices to save energy and create comfortable home environments, 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.