For thousands of years, the American Indian word Dejope, meaning "four lakes," was used to refer to the Madison, Wisconsin area. Adopting the name, the $47 million, 5-story, 412-bed Dejope Residence Hall recognizes the influence of the area's tribal culture. Along with housing, the project also features a new 400-seat dining hall with eight dining venues. The heavy-timbered glass-fronted dining pavilion was carefully situated to take advantage of views of Lake Mendota, with easy access to an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining and social gathering places. Amenities include a technology center, convenience store, laundry, coffee shop, health clinic, lounges with a fireplace, and a much-used outdoor fire circle.
Mackey Mitchell's goal was to create a place with a homelike feel to foster community, which is bolstered by the dining hall that provides food services for the entire Lakeshore residential district. The dining and residence hall includes a number of environmental features, such as electronic display screens, green roofs, and efficient kitchen fans. Curved ceilings, cove lighting, and floor patterns used throughout the space reflect the flow and movement of water. In reference to the region's natural resources and respect to the indigenous people who occupied the land, the color palette is based on earth tones with a mix of brown, muted green, and shades of tranquil blue. Golden yellow Italian mosaic tile used in the servery is reminiscent of textured basket weaves.
University administrators wanted to honor this historical area and continue educating people on the significance of the role of native Indians in Wisconsin and across the United States. Student Andrew Uehling likes his higher ceilings, bigger closets and more space. He also likes waking up to a green-blue view, with a carpet of rooftop grass in the foreground and the waves of Lake Mendota in the distance. With its five stories, wall-sized windows, eco-friendly features and sprawling design, it has little resemblance to the surrounding dorms all built in the 1950s and 1960s, reflecting the societal shifts and dramatic changes in student expectations.
'WOW' is the most common word spoken in the building. It truly is an award-winning design.
- Paul Evans
Director of University Housing