One of nine new Mackey Mitchell-designed residence halls that opened in 2013 included a new $50 million, 11-story first-year student housing tower with a total of 559 beds. Located on a tight urban site within Oakland's historic district, the design passed review by the City Historic Review Commission by incorporating thematic elements of surrounding historical buildings with a contemporary interpretation. The building includes a garden terrace for student gatherings. Retail space is featured at street level with a bank and coffee shop, and the Pitt's wellness, fitness, and counseling centers on the second floor.
Unlike the high-end, suite style residence halls that have popped up on campuses across the nation for the past decade, Nordenberg Hall has features that reflect an era of smaller rooms with communal bathrooms (and even hall phones). An exposed glass center stair connects each floor, encouraging students to interact and gain a sense of connectedness. Student lounges have ample natural light and amazing views of the city.
"When we were setting out to build this residence hall, we really wanted to focus on what is going to make students successful," said Kathy Humphrey, Vice Provost and Dean of Students. "This generation could easily stay in their rooms all day with their personal computers and phones...what is so important for them fundamentally is to establish a sense of community."
Passion + Perspective
With 25+ years in practice I appreciate services well done. In my mind, Mackey Mitchell Architects have been the best to date and we have had some good ones.
- Park Rankin, AIA
University Architect, University of Pittsburgh