Weber State Univ. Residential Life Campus
Weber State University’s Ogden campus has reached a critical point in its growth. With Stansbury, LaSal, Promontory and Wasatch Halls all nearing the end of their useful lives, University Village aging, the expanded Shepherd Union now on line, and increased off-campus housing choices available, the pressure and opportunity to modernize and diversify on-campus housing choices in a location close to the heart of campus is at a high point. With these forces as a catalyst, Weber State University organized the effort to re-examine the residential life master plan.
The University has a goal of providing a total of 1,000 beds on campus in the near future, in a mixture of housing types. This will provide a residential location that is not only convenient, but provide an experience that is socially and academically supportive and enhance retention by maximizing student engagement. A survey and market analysis was conducted by the University that established housing preferences among students.
The buildings are placed and oriented in such a way that the open space is perceived to be part of the campus, not separate from it, but still belonging to the residential complex. The buildings define the edges of the open space, look over it and protect it. The open space also functions as a node terminating the future allée extending southward from the center of campus.
The approach allowed the client the flexibility to locate amenities. A food service component could conceptually be located in either of the two new residential buildings, on the first floor, close to either of the loading/service areas located at the ends farthest from the central plaza. Allowing this flexibility enabled WSU to make the best decision operations projections came clear. As a result, a vibrant day/night café will serve as a social+study hub in the southeastern building, most central to the entire complex.