Over the last decade, Lawrence Technological University’s Southfield campus has increasingly admitted a student body desiring a more vibrant campus life experience; turning the once commuter school into a University with a more robust on-campus experience. Impacted strongly by LTU’s recent addition of varsity athletics as well as an influx of international students, student resident growth has created an immediate need for on-campus student housing options. This new 300+ bed residential flagship for the University is now leveraged during the recruitment of prospective students, while utilizing it to support the University’s many design programs and student-body social groups.
Located in the center of campus, the East Residence Hall unifies three separate campus districts previously lacking a well-defined urban strategy. By creating a pedestrian walkway and courtyard experience through the center of the building, the East Residence Hall defines the central residential district while connecting the north and south campus districts. Weaving a variety of community spaces through the building program aims to enhance the experience of student interaction and learning. The community spaces were studied through a computational series of iterations evaluating the three-dimensional distribution of community space, proximity to circulation, area of interest for student interaction, and balance on the façade. Layering eleven diverse programs throughout the building, specific environments are shaped to encourage student interaction through learning, fitness, nutrition, collaboration, study, entertainment, music, and relaxation.