DePauw University selected MMA to complete a housing master plan that would provide a roadmap for transforming the institution’s residential life experience. DePauw’s nearly 1,600 beds house all four years on campus except for those choosing to reside in Greek housing. Thus, a main goal of the Housing Master Plan is to create an equitable and consistently excellent experience for all residents. The Plan improves operational efficiency by reducing the number of housing facilities and integrates with the concurrent Campus Energy Master Plan. In addition to housing master planning, the project entailed defining DePauw’s approach to campus sustainability and creating the school’s first design and construction standards. MMA collaborated with Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Cripe Engineering, KBSO Consulting and associate architects ArcDesign.
The Housing Master Plan is built on a foundation of broad engagement with students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees as well as members of the Greek community. Engagement methods included formal focus groups and interviews with stakeholders, informal intercept interviews and an open comment ‘Graffiti Wall’ in the Union. The discovery process yielded valuable insight into the campus culture, challenges of existing housing and the unique needs of each class. A carefully choreographed phasing strategy was developed to maintain campus bed capacity thru a series of strategic demolitions, renovations of historic residence halls and construction of dynamic new residence halls.
The resulting plan creates intimate, cohesive neighborhoods with distinct housing typologies fitting a developmentally appropriate progression through a student’s four years. The new neighborhoods serve to create a more connected campus environment, honor the historic campus context and better define campus edges. Each neighborhood includes site amenities that draw students to interact with their broader cohort and provide new opportunities for living-learning programming. The newly imagined campus housing will not only foster interaction, but will enhance student safety, reduce energy consumption, yield operational efficiency and transform housing into a recruitment and retention asset.
Mackey Mitchell demonstrated their creativity and talent balanced with a willingness to listen and understand us as a client from the first introduction, through the selection process, and through design and construction. They have brought incredible talent and we have enjoyed a great partnership together. We're looking forward to many more projects together!