Converse College Student Housing

Spartanburg, SC

This residential project provides on-campus apartments for seniors at this women’s college, creating a vibrant, small-scale community for student life. This community encourages a transition from the supervised character of underclassman dormitories to the more independent living that these seniors will experience after graduation. The housing complex maintains its campus identity while also creating an independent ‘village’ atmosphere, with a more urban image than that of the historic campus.

The project features 3 different apartment layouts, with each unit providing space for 4 students. The 128 bed, 2-building complex wraps around a landscaped courtyard, opening up to the broader campus while creating a semi-enclosed ‘common green.’ This central courtyard is activated by a number of extroverted student spaces, including a 3-story covered porch, apartment balconies, a multi-purpose pavilion, seminar rooms, and group study areas that integrate living and learning.

Key sustainable principles of the design include site selection, energy performance, water use reduction, thoughtful material selection, and promotion of a sustainable lifestyle. Careful site orientation and window placement provide 90% of the regularly occupied spaces with natural day-lighting and 97% of the occupied spaces with direct views to the outside. The project promotes sustainable lifestyles by implementing a residential recycling program, and providing both covered bicycle storage and parking for fuel-efficient vehicles.


RECOGNITIONS: LEED® Certified; AIASC Merit Design Award; AIASC President’s Award (The Brick Institute’s highest design award)


PHOTOGRAPHERS: Fred Martin Photography; LS3P/ Neal Prince

SF: 50,000