Todd & Associates, teamed with American Campus Communities, provided site planning, programming and design services for this student housing community on the Northern Arizona University campus. The 4.7-acre site allowed a multi-level, linear, pedestrian-oriented design intended to unify differing topographies, reinforce the new campus pedway alignment and architecturally receive the new McConnell pedestrian bridge. The raised pedway segment adjacent to the Community Center extending from the bridge overlooks and interacts with the McConnell pedestrian plaza at street level. The plaza further invigorates the space south of McConnell Road and provides a venue for student-related uses. Two four-story buildings house a mix of 275 one- and two-bedroom units totaling 550 beds. The 11,245 sq. ft. Community Center is the focus of student life. Complementary to this amenity are two two-story common areas within each residential building with lounge, kitchen, laundry and study areas. Phase II adds 328 beds within two four-story buildings adjacent to the existing community. Consistent with The Suites, each building features a two-story Neighborhood Core with lounge, kitchen, laundry and study areas.
Selecting a college or university usually comes down to location and academic programs. However, an increasing number of students and their families are looking for the quality, type, and standard of living offered by student housing communities as one of the deciding factors. Secure and well-maintained housing facilities support the recruiting process and greatly assist universities in attracting and retaining highly qualified students. From years of planning and designing college and university facilities (both public and private), we believe that all spaces should be created with the end user in mind, especially when designing learning environments. Human-centered design focuses on people and how they will use the space, for growth and development, social interaction and living and learning. These should be spaces of inspiration, to supply students with the tools they need to succeed in today’s ever-changing world. At Todd & Associates, we are continually looking for innovative ways to improve the design of student housing communities. By exploring new ideas and processes, such as the multi-phased process of the 21st Century Project of ACUHO (Association of College and University Housing Officials), we are ensuring that these communities better reflect the ever-changing roles their residences play in the collegiate experience.