Tri-Towers Student Housing
- Name: Tri-Towers Student Housing
- Location: Kent, OH
- sector: Higher Education,
- service: Architecture, Interior Design,
- status: Complete
- Size: 360,700 sq. ft.
- Recognition: LEED Certified – Wright Hall & Leebrick Hall, LEED Silver Certified – Koonce Hall
Considered a tall, intimidating and undesirable mass-housing blocks, freshmen students were no longer excited to live at Kent State University’s Tri-Towers student residence Halls. The University’s goal for the project, and the challenge to the design team, was to make the residences more desirable while addressing deferred maintenance repairs. As a long-time partner, the University once again turned to us for renovation ideas to boost student occupancy rates and lead the transformation project through to completion. By building an experienced core team of consultants, and working closely with the contractors, we successfully transformed the towers to meet 21st century student housing standards within a limited budget and an extremely tight timeline.
The stark and dated image of the towers was reimagined by restoring the exterior concrete and masonry facade, replacing all the windows, and strategically introducing a lighter and brighter glass and metal facade system. All designed to transform the existing brutalist aesthetic into residences that are more comfortable, colorful and varied.
Internally, the top floors of the towers were converted into centralized gathering spaces (locally referred to as Sky Lounges) with fun and energetic interiors. To further break down the scale of the towers, each was assigned an interior color identity. At night, this identity is further expressed with lighting that bathes the Sky Lounge exteriors in color. Below, the student rooms were refreshed with new finishes, and the tower elevators were fully upgraded. New private, single-use bathrooms were integrated at every floor, and new HVAC systems were installed throughout.
Working with the University, the contractor, and the core team, we transformed the Tri-Towers student residence halls into one of the most desirable housing options for incoming freshmen. Keeping the cost-to-benefit ratio high, we ensured the University’s goals were met, securing its satisfaction and strengthening our long-term relationship. As a further example of our work at KSU, take a look at another of our major collaborations with the University – The Design Innovation Hub.