Adohi Hall, meaning "coming into the forest" in Cherokee, is a first-of-its-kind mass timber residence hall built to enhance the student experience with emphasis on community, safety, living learning, technology, and sustainability. The university engaged Modus Architects in collaboration with Mackey Mitchell Architects, Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, and a broad team of engineering, landscape design, and sustainability experts to fulfill their vision. The new 202,000 SF, five-story building houses 708 freshmen and sophomores in a mix of community pod-style units and semi-suites with private bathrooms. Residents enjoy a state-of-the-art Living Learning facility complete with seminar rooms, recording studio, media lab, maker spaces, lounges, coffee bar, rehearsal space, and movement studio.
The university and design team explored numerous alternatives during a rigorous programming and master planning phase to determine what elements would most benefit students and complement the overall UA housing portfolio. The collaborative process included student engagement sessions as well as input from campus administration, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, and key faculty to outline the living learning components. As the design was honed, the university brought in a construction manager, Nabholz, to provide cost and scheduling guidance. The design was refined and streamlined at each phase to ensure overall project goals were met.
The University of Arkansas not only set out to create an inspiring new home for students, they also saw this as an opportunity to invest in the long-term economic development of the state. Chancellor Joe Steinmetz committed to “use novel timber products in partnership with Arkansas’ timber industry in construction of a new residence hall”—the first in the country to use a mass timber structural system. The building will serve as a living laboratory for studying the practical benefits of advanced timber technology, and the exposed wooden features will enhance student well-being, adding natural warmth and comfort throughout their new home.
The combined talents of the Adohi Hall's design collaborative make this landmark project a vibrant learning environment for the University of Arkansas’s creative student communities.
- Peter MacKeith
Dean and Professor of Architecture, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design