Student housing has come a long way from the dorms we remember – today’s facilities are integrated student-life communities with superior academic and recreational amenities.
With a surge in graduating high school students wanting to attend out-of-state, high-ranking universities, the pressure has intensified for institutions to offer outstanding and amenity-rich housing as part of the campus experience. This next wave of student housing design reflects an increasing focus on social interaction, student health and diverse choices to deliver a holistic live-learn community. The University of California, Irvine’s innovative housing expansion for Mesa Court exemplifies how campus development is moving away from the historically self-contained dormitory model and adopting this new approach.
Bill LaPatra, a project director for some of our more complex urban sites and campuses, was recently interviewed by the online commercial real estate journal GlobeSt.com to explain this demand and change in perception within student life and housing.
UCI’s Mesa Court is just one example of how many universities are beginning to adopt this new approach to campus development. As the demand for healthy and connected design continues to rise, universities all over the country are planning more complex, integrated campuses and ultimately redefining student life.
The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) has recognized the Sustainability Treehouse with a Top Ten Green Project award. Now in its 18th year, the awards program seeks to recognize projects and innovations in high performance, sustainable design. Jury members commented that the Treehouse “exhibits a very exuberant and expressive design while being contextual and respectful of the site.”
Towering 125-feet above grade and on target for Living Building certification, the Treehouse is a testament to the power of integrated design. Mithun led the collaborative, multi-disciplinary design process to achieve an immersive learning center for the Boy Scouts of America within the forest at Summit Bechtel Reserve. Visitors ascend indoor and outdoor platforms to experience the forest from multiple vantages and engage with exhibits that explore the site and ecosystem at the levels of ground, tree canopy and sky. Innovative green building systems—including a 6,450-watt photovoltaic array output, two 4,000-watt wind turbines, and a 1,000-gallon cistern and water cleansing system—combine to yield an inspirational facility that celebrates the wonder of childhood exploration and blazes new trails with net-zero energy and water performance.
Key project collaborators included Trinity Works (Summit developer), BNIM (executive architect/architect of record) and Volume, Inc./Studio Terpeluk (exhibit design).
The Sustainability Treehouse is Mithun’s fifth AIA COTE Top Ten Project. Past honorees include IslandWood, Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design REI Seattle Flagship Store and REI Denver Flagship Store, .
For more details, visit http://www.aiatopten.org/node/385Related:
Spectrum Development Solutions and Gracorp Capital Advisors started construction on Anthem on 12th, the first private project in the revitalization of Yesler Terrace. Mithun designed the new 120-unit multifamily apartment building with the goal of redefining healthy, affordable and sustainable living in Seattle. Twenty percent of the units will be rented to people making less than 50 percent of area median income. Yesler Terrace is a dynamic neighborhood that has access to transit, is near the major medical centers on First Hill and within walking distance of downtown, Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill. The project name is in honor of Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Star-Spangled Banner, and a tribute to the history of Yesler Terrace and past residents like Hendrix and former Governor Gary Locke.
“…the arrival this year of Seattle Streetcar’s First Hill line, which runs along 12th Avenue and stops two blocks west of Yesler Way, makes Anthem a prime transit-oriented development opportunity.” said Spectrum Principal Jake McKinstry.
- Seattle DJC: Spectrum breaks ground on Yesler Terrace apartments
- Seattle DJC: More apartments for Spectrum on First Hill
- Puget Sound Business Journal: Seattle real estate developer goes all in on First Hill
Luxury online publication, JustLuxe, recently featured the Miraval Life in Balance Spa in an article published in their travel section. Mithun and Clodagh were responsible for the renovation of the 16,000 square foot signature spa and fitness center, as well as the design of new buildings for wellness, meditation, yoga, outdoor treatments and guest rooms. The article praises the design aesthetic as well as the spa’s services and many other accommodations (continue reading here).Related:
Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on Hirabayashi Place, a new 96-unit affordable housing complex designed by Mithun for Interim Community Development Association. Named after local civil rights leader Gordon Hirabayashi, the project promotes social sustainability and quality design for all. The project is located on a prominent intersection in the Seattle International District and encourages walkable communities through activated streetscapes and proximity to transit, and will create a new gateway to the historic Japantown. Interim Community Development Association’s Executive Director, Andrea Akita, was quoted in a recent story on King 5 News:
“We are really hoping this project will contribute to the revitalization not only of Japantown but also to the revitalization of the community […] The Hirabayashi Place is all about connecting our past, present, and our future,” said Akita.
- Seattle DJC: Apartments planned for International District
The Goodwill Job Training and Education Center is currently featured as the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce’s project of the month. Guided by the belief that “jobs change lives,” Goodwill hired Mithun to design an updated educational facility and healthy work environment that was visible and welcoming to the surrounding community. Writer Clair Enlow calls it “a standout along busy Rainer Ave South,” and “an anchor and portal for Seattle Goodwill.” The article also includes quotes from Mithun’s Rich Franko and Dottie Faris, as well as Goodwill’s Betsy McFeely who says the new building: “sets [them] up for a wonderful future.”
The Project of the Month is sponsored by the Daily Journal of Commerce and the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Read the full article here.Related:
Mithun’s Redevelopment Master Plan for the Mariposa housing development in Denver is currently featured as a case study on the Center for Active Design’s website. The article credits the Denver Housing Authority for first “recognizing the need to design beyond buildings – to achieve a holistic sustainability that improved health and overall quality of life.” The resulting Mariposa Redevelopment Master Plan guides an equitable, health-and transit-oriented redevelopment scheme for 270 existing public housing units. The redevelopment of this 17.5-acre site will add a mix of uses and nearly triple the existing density, with 900 new mixed-income homes.
The Center for Active Design is a nonprofit organization that is committed to promoting “active design.” To read the full Mariposa Case Study, visit www.centerforactivedesign.com.Related: