University students want more than a place to sleep. They want a space that reflects their style. Building Design + Construction recently gathered the six trends that are hitting college campuses now.
Until recently, the most important thing college students wanted in on-campus housing was privacy—private bedrooms, private baths, private this, private that. In the race to attract students, colleges and universities did their best to create living spaces that tried to fulfill that wish.
The resulting boom in suite-style housing—with private bedrooms, common living rooms, and bathrooms shared by two, three, or four suitemates—delivered as much privacy as most colleges could afford to provide. But the emphasis on privacy carried with it the potential to foster isolation among students, particularly if the residence hall had limited common areas for socializing.
Today, college facilities directors are rethinking certain assumptions about campus living spaces. Some are reverting to an older university housing model: double rooms with bathrooms and common areas shared by larger groups of students. Students themselves are coming around on this approach, albeit slowly. Dennis Lynch, Associate Principal at Baltimore design firm Ayers Saint Gross, recalls one college senior he met at a design roundtable. The student had spent his entire college career in a suite-style building with no shared lounge space. “He said, ‘I made a mistake. I only got to know my suitemates,” said Lynch. The student regretted not having tried a traditional unit during his college career.
Universities are using residence halls to:
1. Foster a sense of community on campus.
2. Gain other benefits by downsizing bedrooms.
3. Create uncommonly vibrant common areas.
4. Figure out how best to use technology.
5. Blend academics with living spaces.
6. Compete for students.
Read the entire article here.