Quad Housing Renovations

Faced with demand for growing enrollment, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro proposed two scenarios for student housing: raze seven residence buildings on its 90-year-old historic quad, rebuilding on the site and adding capacity; or renovate the existing buildings and build a new residence hall elsewhere on campus. A public outcry from local preservationists and from the many alumni who recalled special moments in the quad resulted in the University’s decision to comprehensively renovate the buildings, originally constructed between 1919 and 1923.

Designers re-imagined the quad to revitalize and promote community and to capitalize on the quad’s proximity to an important campus axis. This involved carving a hole through the center of the main building, Shaw Hall, to create a direct connection from the main campus through the quad, while retaining the building’s historic columns and portico. Shaw’s new large plaza and seating walls overlook the quad’s green space, which was redesigned to encourage activity. Living-learning programs are also headquartered in Shaw, complete with faculty office, offices for housing and residence life staff and group study rooms. Two seminar rooms were added, each a two-story volume, providing much-needed campus classroom space. Shaw’s multi-purpose room, which looks out to the Student Center, and a game lounge, serve the entire community.

Each of the other six buildings’ main entrances reorient to the quad green to activate patios, also enlivened with seating walls. Parlors in these buildings, formerly one-story spaces, are now two-story volumes with a glass clerestory providing natural light. hese six halls also received new lounges and study areas. Three of the seven halls accommodate staff apartments. Renovation included installation of new HVAC systems, plumbing systems, electric systems, fire sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems in each building, and wireless Internet access throughout. 

“Great care was obviously taken in the conceptual planning and final execution of the design. This project addressed the needs of the university and the current student populations, while maintaining the strong emotional connection with previous alumni. Well done.”
– Juror Comment, Student Housing Business Magazine design review

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