Redefining student housing to streamline and improve life on campus
Sasaki is currently completing a student housing master plan for the University at Buffalo focused on their undergraduate and graduate student populations. The main goal of this plan is to increase the quality and quantity of on-campus housing through the identification of critical maintenance and high value improvements to the current housing buildings, and then accommodating these identified residential demand areas with phased implementation. Additionally, the plan focuses on enhancing the student community through the introduction of social spaces and pedestrian connections between residences the North Campus academic spine.
These improvements were necessitated by a need to align the undergraduate and certain graduate student housing populations with the academic programs that are anchored on North Campus. Sasaki created two distinct concepts for North Campus; a diverse and distributed model with students spread out through eight residential districts and a compact core model, in which first years, sophomores, and graduate students each have a unique district, and juniors, seniors and other graduate share three mixed districts.
As part of this study, Sasaki recommended specific financial investments for aging residence halls to maximize efficiency. The Ellicott Complex, the largest residential complex housing 3,200 students through six buildings, was identified as a facility that would benefit from a renovation, while other residence halls will be strategically removed as new building locations are identified. The goals of renewing the Ellicott are focused on creating an identity for the whole complex, improving the connection to the deck level and activating the ground floor by reprogramming it, which will happen through social stairs, flexible spaces, and atrium spaces.
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