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Sense of Place

Alice Paul Hall,Swarthmore College

University Business, Oct 2005

When designing this residence hall, the project team at Swarthmore College (Pa.) had community building in mind.

Function: Dormitory for 75 students (of the approximately 1,300 living on campus this semester).

Challenge: Certain factors in society--such as computers, video games, and an increased interest in privacy--were beginning to work against the school's long-time values of student collaboration and community, says Tom Krattenmaker, director of News and Information at the college. The typical dorm design encourages student isolation.

Design Solutions: Building features, such as stairs near the entrance and an elevator far off to the side, help promote interaction among students living in Alice Paul. No basement laundry room here, either; this task gets done in a spot prominently overlooking a bright, centrally located living room lounge. "It's quickly becoming the place where students want to room," Krattenmaker says.

Project Cost: Nearly $8.29 million, acquired from an anonymous donor.

Architect: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Boston.

Completed: August 2004

--M.E.

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