Lesley University had traditionally been an all women’s university and the decision to admit men provided the impetus to renovate one of its main corridor-style residence halls. The initial study for the project included considerations for future expansion to the residence hall, adding a layer of complexity to the planning process.
The renovation project included systems upgrades to add sprinklers, improve hallway lighting and enhance finishes throughout the 130-bed hall. The design team encouraged the school to use the project as an opportunity to create a more domestic feel in a rather typical institutional building. This is most evident in the selection of bathroom finishes and fixtures, which were chosen to evoke a hip hotel or upscale health club and turn the notion of community bathroom into an asset.
The project was undertaken on an extremely tight time-line; the design team began work in late January for a summer construction period. Using a construction management approach, an iterative budgeting process kept costs in-line with the owner’s expectations. Creative design strategies ensured that every dollar spent went for maximum impact.