Adohi Hall, a $79-million, 202,027-sf residence hall at the University of Arkansas, has recently become the largest mass timber building in the United States. Named for the Cherokee word for “woods,” the 708-bed facility is located on a four-acre site at the southern end of the campus and will provide a new university gateway that marks the start of the larger living learning district.
The project includes wood columns and exposed structural wood ceilings in student rooms, study rooms, floor lounges, and ground floor common spaces. The building’s exterior features a light metal jacket of zinc-toned panels with accents of textured copper-tone and white to create a floating band of living space above the natural landscape. A cascading series of outdoor spaces provides students and visitors with opportunities to gather and engage and pathways weave through existing strands of oak trees that provide shade to students in the warmer months.
Four stories of residential floors are arranged above the ground-floor communal spaces. Connected by a ground-level passage, a serpentine band of student rooms define three distinctive courtyard spaces that create a dynamic environment for student collaboration and interactive learning in architecture, design, and the arts. The “front porch” in the northernmost building is the key entry point for the complex and the “cabin” at the ground-level, central passage’s midpoint is the main gathering space. The cabin comprises a community kitchen, lounges, a hearth, and a rooftop terrace. The “workshops” of the lower courtyard house include performance spaces, music and recording studios, and maker spaces.
The residential floors each have their own double-height lounges and kitchen spaces, semi-suites for two students with private baths, and pods of six to eight double rooms with a shared bath and common room. Study rooms with large windows are at the end of each wing and create a series of “lanterns” when viewed from the exterior along Stadium Drive.
Adohi Hall is meant to honor Cherokee tribe members who passed near the hall’s site while following the Trail of Tears and recognizes the importance of wood and sustainable forestry to the region.