Design Survey says Community-Building Features Top On-Campus Housing Priorities

by Katie Sloan

Lawrence, Kan. — ‘What to watch in 2012?’ Apartments. 

This hybrid pod-style residence is an example of a building that creates a sense of community, which was the main finding in Treanor’s survey. The design provides for communities of 12 on a wing and 24 on a floor. Students have the opportunity to live in single or double rooms and have ample community space with study rooms, lounges and a full kitchen for each community. (Photo courtesy of Treanor Architects). Lawrence, Kan. —In a survey of 70 on-campus housing specialists, Treanor Architects reports that student housing preferences are leaning toward buildings that encourage a sense of community among residents but that also focus on more privacy in personal living spaces.

The firm surveyed residence life representatives from a majority of public institutions, with about 30 percent of respondents answering on behalf of private colleges.

Eighty-four percent say building community among campus residents is the most relevant building design trend. Those surveyed say another critical concern impacting the design and construction of student residences is attracting and keeping students on campus. Just 1 percent cited technology or sustainability as a top trend affecting design decisions.

More than a quarter of those surveyed are planning to build new residences, and according to the survey, apartments are emerging as the “must-have” for 62 percent. “The trend is toward privacy. Residential design that brings larger groups of students together is not part of the 10-year vision for most campuses,” according to the survey. Respondents were located in markets from South Carolina to California.

– Lynn Peisner

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