UW - Superior
Architect: Workshop Architects
Owner: State of Wisconsin, Division of State Facilities
Contractor: Howard Immel Inc.
As enrollment swelled in the 1960s, the University made plans to double the size of the UW-Superior student population. Over the years the condition of the Halls declined and they became the least desirable choice for campus housing. In 2012, the University decided to renovate Ross and Hawkes Halls.
The two Halls were typical of the 60’s dormitory. Double loaded corridors with no natural light, low floor-to-floor heights, shared toilet and shower rooms and minimal social space. Through a series of design sessions with UW-Superior administration, staff and students design priorities were established. Top priorities were personal toilet rooms, personal showers and more social areas. Within each building, the solution removed the common toilet rooms to open up the central core and bring natural light into new social lounges, creating spaces for community on each floor. Community kitchens and grouped private toilets with showers surround the new open areas. At the scale of the district, the two buildings were joined by a multi-story community space. A floating glulam roof caps glass walls to create a warm and welcoming two level “link” between the buildings. Interior and exterior ramps negotiate the site and existing main floor levels to improve accessibility, wayfinding and the entry experience. Interior platform seating, a fireplace and tiered seating provide a physical and visual connection between the upper lounge and lower level recreation and programming areas. By creating civic spaces at multiple scales, these dynamic interventions transformed two isolated 1960’s dormitories into two connected 21st century residence halls.
Photos: BLG Photo