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The first large-scale mass timber residence hall in the U.S. is under construction at the University of Arkansas

Wood

The first large-scale mass timber residence hall in the U.S. is under construction at the University of Arkansas

Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Modus Studio, Mackey Mitchell Architects, and OLIN collaborated on the design.


By David Malone, Associate Editor | November 30, 2017
Exterior rendering of Stadium Drive Residence Halls

Rendering courtesy Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Modus Studios, Mackey Mitchell

The University of Arkansas’s new 202,027-sf, 708-bed residence hall, dubbed the Stadium Drive Residence Halls, is set to become the first large-scale mass timber residence hall and living learning setting in the country.

The project is currently under construction on a linear four-acre site that slopes from north to south. Within this relatively small, densely planted buffer zone the project is shaped by the concept of “a cabin in the woods” that provides a new university gateway. A serpentine band of student rooms defines three protected and distinctive courtyard spaces.

 

Stadium Drive Residence Halls courtyardRendering courtesy Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Modus Studios, Mackey Mitchell

 

The north building includes a “front porch” that is the main entry point of the complex and a “cabin” at the passage’s midpoint that is the main gathering space. The “cabin” includes a community kitchen, lounges, a quiet hearth, and a rooftop terrace. The lower courtyard includes workshops that comprise performance spaces, music and recording studios, and maker spaces.

Student rooms are arranged in wings that comprise semi-suites for two students and pods for six to eight students. Study rooms at the end of each wing are naturally lit via large windows and create a series of “lanterns” along Stadium Drive. The buildings’ inner cores feature two-story lounges with residential kitchens designed for community interaction between the upper and lower floors.

Wood is on full display throughout the project with exposed structural wood ceilings present in student rooms, study rooms, floor lounges, and ground-level common spaces. The “cabin” also includes wood ceilings and trusses that span the full width of the lounges.

 

Stadium Drive Residence Halls common spaceRendering courtesy Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Modus Studios, Mackey Mitchell

 

The exterior of the project highlights metal. Zinc-toned siding with accent panels of textured copper-toned and white siding creates a floating band of living space above the natural landscape. A ground-level passage winds through the landscape and connects the various courtyards.

The project, which is the result of a design collaborative led by Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Modus Studio, Mackey Mitchell Architects, and OLIN is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

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