The 92,660-sf Wessel Residence Hall is the second project in a multi-phased plan to reimagine the student life experience at Abilene Christian University, offering modern amenities and providing an equitable residential experience for 357 first-year students. The team thoughtfully designed the hall with welcoming social spaces for building community and creating lifelong memories in the spirit of the former Gardner Hall which it replaced–a building that was cherished by generations of ACU alumni.
Navigating challenges head-on, Wessel Hall's construction began amidst the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic and global supply chain disruptions, but our team's dedication and ingenuity ensured the project's timely delivery and adherence to the budget. Living spaces were designed into an innovative new pod style that addresses the challenge of integrating multiple single-user and community "spa-like" bathrooms while minimizing travel distance for students. Evolving through the process were valuable insights that led us to reimagine central floor lounges, transforming them into unique destinations for multiple activities ranging from gaming and multimedia, to studying and collaborating.
The design of the outdoor spaces of Wessel Hall were redefined, now providing a unique vibrancy that had previously been missing in Gardner Hall. The project is a major part of the larger vision for the First-Year Village, seamlessly connecting individual outdoor spaces to foster movement and increase community building on campus. The building is also tailored to support the faculty-in-residence program, fostering a unique community where educators live side by side with students. The project's success stems directly from an invaluable relationship with ACU, leading to the creation of a building that perfectly embodies their mission to support students and elevate their on-campus experience.
By modernizing our residence halls with intentionally designed and welcoming spaces, we can better meet the living and learning needs of today’s students and improve the equity of experience in residence life.
- Dr. Phil Schubert
Abilene Christian University President