Nestled in a serene wooded area at the most northern part of campus, Miami University’s North Quad needed to be refreshed and claim its own unique identity on campus. With four residence halls (Flower, Hahne, Hepburn, and Brandon) totaling 1,050 beds and a dark and dated central dining center originally built in the 1960s, the North Quad needed extensive renovations to live up to its potential. Mackey Mitchell ’s project scope consisted of more than a quarter of a million square feet. The community needed to honor the lovely Georgian Vernacular architectural history of its residence halls while offering design and amenities to appeal to today’s modern students.
To recreate the North Quad as a residential destination, Mackey Mitchell, with CR Architecture + Design and the MU planning committee, led the design process to establish a theme for the district. A design workshop coined the name “The Retreat” to reflect the North Quad’s new status as an oasis for its residents and the greater campus community. Program elements, interior finishes, and site amenities were all carefully chosen to reflect this concept. The heart of the community is the 220-seat Martin Dining Center, redesigned to embrace the classic 1960s elements while increasing openness and light for greater student appeal.
The North Quad has truly become a desirable neighborhood within the campus. From first approach, the outdoor meditation areas and seating/fire pit patio beckon students to relax alone or gather with friends. Interiors employ soothing palettes and materials in airy, light-filled spaces. With four food stations and a convenience store, the Martin Dining Center especially has become a magnet for social interaction. A variety of seating styles and arrangements encourage students to congregate for more than just meals, and a lower-level fitness and recreation center provides additional options for wellness and socialization.
Passion + Perspective
Mackey Mitchell has the experience, attitude, and resources an institution looks for to successfully partner on projects of significant size and complexity.
- Robert R. Bell, Jr
Associate Director of Campus Planning, Miami University