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Symbolizing a new paradigm for residential life, this student housing site improves transparency, creates open spaces for community building, and elegantly weaves sustainability practices into design

Georgetown University Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Hall

Georgetown University
Washington, DC
85,000 square feet
LEED Gold certified
©Alan Karchmer
Additional Services
Civil Engineering
Landscape Architecture
Completed August 2016
Society for College and University Planning/American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education (SCUP/AIA-CAE), Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture for a New Building

As a symbol of a new paradigm for residential life on campus, Georgetown’s new 225-bed residence hall and associated landscape create a vibrant, connected, and engaging environment with materiality, texture, and coloration from historic buildings on campus.

The building massing takes advantage of a nestled site and makes the most efficient use of the available footprint while establishing greater transparency at the first floor level—where the entry areas and the living learning suite are located—as well as the lounge spaces in the residential floors. A stone base in hues of blue and grey grounds the building and establishes a direct architectural connection with the historic buildings on campus. A tower element composed of stone and glass frames the south facade, which is approached from the Copley Lawn—the largest open space on campus. To the north, a second tower clad in larger expanses of glass, create the effect of a lantern for the building, showcasing the University’s commitment to residential life as it contains the floor lounges for community building and socialization.

The building’s first floor contains flexible formal and informal gathering spaces, including a multi-purpose room, student lounges, a workroom, break-out areas and a kitchen. The residential floors feature a mix of two, four, and six-bed suites, and each contain a student lounge, kitchen, and study space. In addition to the preservation of the majority of mature trees on site, the creation of new green terraces, pedestrian friendly plazas, and new outdoor seating areas combine to create welcoming and engaging landscape experiences along and around the building.

Sustainability strategies for the project include an emphasis on natural light, a green roof, permeable paving materials, storm water strategies, energy efficient systems, enclosed bicycle storage and strategies for renewable energy. The building is LEED Gold certified.

For more information contact Vinicius Gorgati.

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