Eastern Michigan University, like so many other universities in Michigan, has been faced with the need to renovate its various existing residence halls to fit the expectations of prospective and current students. Wise Hall is a five story building that houses approximately 325 students. Each floor is comprised of two wings of dual occupant residence rooms with community bathrooms.
The University set out to renovate and re-envision the existing building in a cost conscious and efficient manner. One of the largest drivers of the design effort was to get the maximum result for each dollar spent. Through a collaborative effort with the owner we were able to create a new life for the existing facility that caters to the needs of its students.
The exterior of the building received new glazing treatments in all of the residence rooms as well as common areas. Strategic areas of brick were replaced with glazing to allow more daylight into the newly programmed interior student common spaces. The use of repetition and strategic solutions such as brick staining made the design results stretch further.
Inside the building, program elements were weighed against existing conditions to leverage the biggest impact on student life. Ultimately, the design is focused on creating spaces within the building that promote student engagement and act as a source of recruitment and retention.