Pressed for funds after the substantial hit taken by the university’s endowment funds in 2008, a private developer retained us to plan and design an off-balance-sheet housing initiative for three of JCU’s new sites, which totaled over 1000 beds.
With a severe parking problem on campus, all three sites featured an excavated lower level parking deck with residential, common areas and retails space at grade. A serious debate among the participants concerned the architectural vocabulary for the project. JCU is a neo-Gothic campus and a recent $60 million science center was designed and constructed in a neo-Gothic style, though elements of articulation were not scaled proportionally with the mass of the structure.
The private developer proposed to respect JCU’s brand identity and develop buildings with authentic materials, proportions and details - within reason. The design features state-of-the-art thinking on student housing with four-bed suites with two-bed bedrooms, each with their own bathroom and a common living/ study area with kitchenette.