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Pfluger Architects unveils renovated student lounges at all-girls dormitory

Student Housing

Pfluger Architects unveils renovated student lounges at all-girls dormitory

The historic all-girls dormitory at The University of Texas at Austin attracts students with modernized on-campus housing and reimagined community spaces.


By Pfluger Architects | May 1, 2024
Kinsolving Hall all-girls dormitory interior at The University of Texas at Austin
Kinsolving Hall, The University of Texas at Austin. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects

In a step toward updating and modernizing on-campus housing to attract a range of students, Texas-based Pfluger Architects renovated the student lounges in Kinsolving Hall, a five-story, all-girls dormitory at The University of Texas at Austin initially built in 1958. 

Drawing inspiration from the university's brand message, "What starts here changes the world," Pfluger reimagined and renovated the dorm's 19 student lounges, a total of 8,900 sf. Each floor represents a step in the journey toward exploring possibilities and reaching one's potential, and the design of the lounges on each floor reflect those concepts.

Kinsolving Hall Student Housing Renovation

The first floor is designed to be a sanctuary, a home away from home, where students can nurture self-confidence and ease the transition into college life. This space is vital for building a supportive community that acts as a buffer against stress and loneliness.

Kinsolving Hall first floor with students studying
Kinsolving Hall first floor. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects
Kinsolving Hall second floor with students studying
Kinsolving Hall second floor. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects

The second floor takes inspiration from the campus and encourages academic growth and an inquisitive nature. The third floor is the building's communal heart, celebrating the city of Austin's vibrant culture.

The fourth floor encourages collaboration and exploration, with each of the four lounges representing iconic natural Texas destinations like Big Bend National Park or the Hill Country’s Comal River. At the pinnacle, the fifth floor symbolizes endless possibilities, inspiring students to envision and work toward changing the world.

"Creating lounge and community spaces for the way today’s college students study and live, and bringing them to life in a historic building that has been part of the UT Austin campus fabric for decades was a fantastic opportunity to stretch our creative muscles,” said Christian Owens, Principal and Design Director, Pfluger’s Higher Education Practice, based in the firm’s Austin office. “The team’s vision and leadership significantly contributed to this project's success and we’re proud to have created spaces that encourage collaboration, exploration, and camaraderie."

Kinsolving Hall third floor with students studying
Kinsolving Hall third floor. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects
Kinsolving Hall fourth floor with students studying
Kinsolving Hall fourth floor. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects
Kinsolving Hall fifth floor with students talking
Kinsolving Hall fifth floor. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects

Durable fabrics and materials in a vibrant color palette complement the floor covering and custom wall art. Comfortable sectional sofas, overstuffed chairs, poufs, and stools create a variety of seating options for individual study, small group lounging and group gatherings for conversation or game time. The renovated interiors were designed by Pfluger and completed with the help of engineering consultants Waterloo/MEP and general contractor Balfour Beatty. Pfluger’s designers selected materials from Armstrong (wood wall and ceiling panels), Interface Carpet, Flor Carpet, Mannington Carpet, National Solutions Wallcoverings, Koroseal Walltalkers, Sherwin Williams (paint), CR Laurence, and SRG Solutions (CNC walls) for the lounges.

Affordable, on-campus accommodations with amenity-rich offerings like community spaces, wellness facilities, tech connectivity and a range of study and gathering space options are in high demand at higher education campuses across the country, especially in Texas. The university sought to modernize the common areas in the historic building to reflect the types of spaces sought after by students attending the university and retain them in on-campus housing.

About Pfluger Architects 
Pfluger Architects creates beautiful, functional, environmentally sensitive spaces that meet the needs of those we serve. Our inclusive and collaborative teams respect ideas that reflect independent thought and individual backgrounds. We believe that by empowering our differences, we can achieve extraordinary results that will inspire people to create a more meaningful human experience. Learn more at https://pflugerarchitects.com/

Kinsolving Hall, University of Texas - Austin, exterior
Kinsolving Hall at The University of Texas at Austin, exterior. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects
Kinsolving Hall, University of Texas - Austin, front entrance
Kinsolving Hall at The University of Texas at Austin, front entrance. Photo © Thomas McConnell, courtesy Pfluger Architects

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