Couzens Hall and Alice Lloyd Hall Renovations

The opening of a centralized dining hall for the Hill neighborhood at the University of Michigan presented an opportunity to reimagine spaces within two aged residence halls (Couzens 1929, Alice Lloyd 1949) that accommodate three Living-Learning Communities. The University hired Hanbury, in association with IDS, to consider how the spaces could be reconfigured during infrastructure upgrades. 
The firm analyzed the impact of the new dining center on student traffic on the Hill, surveyed students, examined other successful student public spaces on campus, and considered how the existing buildings were succeeding or failing to address the needs of 21st Century students. 
The newly envisioned public spaces transformed the use and character of the public floors of both buildings, with wide open corridors populated with student activity and a pathway that connects major building entrances between floors. Key program spaces have entrances off of this pathway, including a 24-hour lounge, a game room, lounge-style classrooms for the Living Learning communities (LLC), a “living room,” small group study spaces, LLC offices, the Community Center/front desk, computer lab, yoga studio, art studio, display gallery space, laundry, music practice rooms, and a large multi-purpose meeting room. Key in the design is the use of technology to build community. Twitter, Facebook, and blogging are visible on media walls in key locations to foster student ownership of their respective halls. 
As part of the interior renovation, new entrances and student community spaces were added to Alice Lloyd’s existing building exterior. The new skin for the first and second floors was designed to integrate with the major design elements of adjacent buildings while expressing a new brick color to differentiate with the old. 
“The creativity that’s gone into repositioning the spaces and making everything just absolutely gorgeous ... I mean, I couldn’t have even imagined it [turning out] this well, so I’m thrilled. The buildings needed updating, they needed to be modernized, they needed the latest in technology, because (that’s) the way our students learn today. But it’s a thrill for us to keep the infrastructure, keep the beautiful parts of the building and yet make them as modern as any new building could be.”
Mary Sue Coleman, University President at the Couzens grand re-opening

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