The Hill Neighborhood is one of three main residential communities at the University of Michigan featuring four historic buildings that were all in need of drastic infrastructure renovation, revitalization, and student life transformation. The IDS team of architects and engineers became involved with this project when they originally participated in the 2009 renovation of Stockwell Hall. The final two renovation projects, Couzens and Alice Lloyd, were completed in August 2011 and July 2012, finalizing the internal modernization of these buildings, adding air-conditioning, state-of-the-art technology and sustainability, as well as creating socially interactive community space and connection to the rest of the Hill Community.
The University Residential Program serves over 12,500 people with the third-largest family housing operation and the sixth-largest campus housing system in U.S. The Residence Life Initiatives project focused on two goals: to create a single community by invigorating connections and creating a sense of belonging for all; and to provide infrastructure and residential improvements. We were involved in these projects because of our infrastructure renewal expertise and 70-80% of the budget was designated just for that purpose, IDS Principal-in-Charge Paul Stachowiak explained. We also worked closely with the national design partners programmatically to create a unique destination in each facility that would aggregate students.
Architect Dave Battle and engineer Dave DiCiuccio, worked closely together to manage the inherent challenge of adding updated infrastructure to an antiquated building. Because of the space constraints, we had to insert an electrical substation within an unexcavated space below existing foundation in Couzens, Battle recalls. Fortunately, when Mosher Jordan Hall (first hall to be renovated) became the centralized dining destination for the Hill Neighborhood, each dorm had newly opened spaces. Systems equipment for cooling, technology and safety had to be cleverly consolidated and hidden without sacrificing bed count, while the former dining rooms were used to create a lounge, game room or community centers. In Alice Lloyd, we created a giant mechanical space in the basement by literally lowering the basement floor, DiCiuccio said. This is how we preserved space for the functional space requirements.
Residence halls were transformed into state-of-the-art living facilities, with warm colors and furniture, and community bathrooms, all creating a home-like environment with the added element of promoting social interaction. Alice Lloyd had the biggest transformation, DiCiuccio said. Lloyd became the model community center for all other UM housing facilities going forward. It’s this style of open, community center replacing the front-desk template of yesterday.
Alice Lloyd had the biggest structural transformation which included augmenting the exterior fade, carefully complementing the vintage exterior. Study space was a keen programming element with two living-learning communities located in this hall, resulting in both private and open study templates that have changed the way students convene.
Today these diverse yet connected buildings are in great demand by all incoming students, many staying beyond freshman year!
A few more details:
- Built in 1949
- 163,040-square-foot renovation
- Floor opened up to eliminate the dungeon feel to the lower level
- Used the former dining space to create art and dance studios to support the LHSP (Lloyd Hall Scholars Program), and the HSSP (Health Sciences Scholars Program)