University administrators and representatives from architectural firm Sasaki Associates presented revised designs for the Northeast Triangle Residence Hall at an open forum Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ve evolved the building significantly since it appeared on the website [last] June,” Sasaki Senior University Architect Jodi Ernst said. “We’ve been working in concert with a lot of student input, a lot of forums, a lot of … [Old Georgetown Board] input most recently, to really refine the building and make it as nice as it is today.”
Approximately 15 students attended the forum.
In response to the OGB’s suggestions, Sasaki architects added an additional entrance on the south side of the building that leads into an open engagement space on the ground floor.
This space, accessible to all students, includes a large workroom with movable panels that can be used as temporary study niches and a large multipurpose room that can be divided into two smaller rooms and a kitchen.
“One of the things that informed a lot of our thinking about the design was the ability to engage students in different ways and the ability to combine social learning and hanging out with more academic purposes,” Sasaki Campus Studio Head and Executive Board Member Vincius Gorgati said.
The building’s original plans included a mezzanine with various study spaces overlooking the first floor’s engagement space, but architects eliminated it due to the building’s height restrictions and financial constraints.
“You always start a project with a wish list of all the things that you would like to have, and at some point, the budgets come and you need to make some adjustments,” Gorgati said.
Residents will access their rooms with their GOCards, making the Northeast Triangle Georgetown’s first keyless residence hall. Administrators have not yet finalized plans for electronic room access, but they have determined that each floor will contain an emergency phone in case of lockouts.
“[The Department of Public Safety] has signed off on it. GOCard has signed off on it,” Director for Residence Life Stephanie Lynch said. “It’s just a matter of implementation at this point.”
Each residential floor consists of a variety of semi-suites with two, four or six beds and a bathroom. The bathrooms will be compartmentalized to allow up to three people to simultaneously utilize them while maintaining privacy.
The double bedrooms in each unit are compact and will have space for closets, beds and desks. Beds will be raised to create room for dressers underneath.
“Every square inch that we could get, we put back into the [common] areas so that we could find some balance between privacy and collaboration,” Gorgati said.
Additionally, each floor will include a common room, a kitchen and a quiet study room.
In addition to changes to Northeast Triangle’s interior, Sasaki also implemented changes to the outside according to OGB’s feedback.
The building’s exterior includes elements of stone, brick and glass in order to connect the primarily stone buildings of Healy Quad with the brick buildings on the north side of campus.
“There was a very strong engagement from OGB in the sense that we should work with those elements and develop a design that was authentic — a building of today that was inspired by the buildings of the past, as opposed to a building of today that tries to mimic the buildings of the past,” Gorgati said.
Sasaki’s plans for the Northeast Triangle extended beyond the building itself, with landscape architect Gautam Sundaram presenting designs for the walkway situated between Reiss Science Building and the site of the Northeast Triangle.
The plans created extra outdoor seating by calling for additional benches and movable tables and chairs along the walkway, as well as a green terrace with precast concrete seat edges outside the dorm.
“That area can be a more successful and user-friendly space, rather than just a wide walkway,” Sundaram said.
In addition, Sasaki redesigned the steps between Red Square and this walkway. The new stairs will be wider for greater accessibility. The adjacent ramp will also be moved to the opposite side and will be curved, meeting the steps at both the top and the bottom.
The Northeast Triangle, which will house 225 students, is scheduled to open in fall 2016, instead of the originally planned fall 2015. The Old Jesuit Residence Project and temporary conversion of Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center floors will contribute to filling the requirement in the interim.
Preliminary Northeast Triangle site work is expected to begin in June, with construction beginning in early October. The architects approximated that construction will take about 16 months.
Although the OGB already approved the proposed building’s scale and massing, the university will seek full concept approval on March 6.