The Village occupies an 8.5-acre site at the corner of Big Bend and Forest Park Boulevards that had long been an underused campus corner. The site was leased to a public television station, and when that lease expired the University considered options for development. Its location at the far corner of campus, adjacent to fraternity and university apartments, motivated the development of student housing. The University also realized that over time, that corner had become an important point of arrival for visitors from the airport. The project represents the university's first foray into small-group housing -- living/learning communities -- where upperclassmen who share academic, extra-curricular, social, or career interests can live near one another.
Plans called for two residence halls plus four fraternities. Three 3-story buildings and one 4-story structure create their own quadrangle, a "college lawn" with an entry plaza linking back to campus. Walkways, porches, and distinctive entries in the Cope & Stewardson Collegiate style provide a village atmosphere. The residence halls with their common rooms, classrooms, and guest rooms are designed to maximize interaction, impart a sense of ownership, and create a physical environment conducive to communal living within a defined secure area.
A distinctly different living system, The Village fosters a seamless living and learning environment, enriches student intellectual and culture experiences, and encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary learning. Significant features are represented in the animated character of the Collegiate Gothic style with gables, dormers, chimneys, and hipped roofs that provide variety, character, and charm. The open central lawn is a flexible common space and active throughout the year. The dining facility faces the lawn with patios and terraces. At the corner of Big Bend and the parkway, a tower (Lopata Hall) punctuates and announces to the public that you have arrived at Washington University.
The Village is a first-rate addition to our campus. We are thoroughly satisfied with both the process and the outcome.
- James E. McLeod
(Former) Vice Chancellor for Students, Washington University in St. Louis