Southern Methodist University

In 2006 Perkins + Will and Stegman+Associates were hired to develop a renovation strategy for four residence halls at Southern Methodist University. SMU undertook the projects as the continuation of a program begun in the 1990’s to renovate all residence halls, and the completion of the projects provided the University with a full housing stock of modernized residence halls.

The programming and concept design process began in late April 2006 and continued through the beginning of June. The goal of the phase was to evaluate alternative approaches to renovation plans and select a preferred option to bring forward into the final design for each building. Assessment of options was based on several key evaluation criteria including variety of unit type offerings, total number of beds to be lost to building reconfiguration, variety of common spaces to support Residential Life programming and mission, and anticipated costs. Planning activities included interviews and focus groups with residence life personnel, students, and facilities staff to develop a space program that incorporated the needs of the residence life program. Test fits of proposed unit types and support spaces verified the potential capacity of each building and facilitated the development of the numeric space program.

The renovation solutions for the four residence halls, Boaz, Shuttles, Peyton and Mary Hay Halls, sought to create a unique approach to each building and its intended student population. Boaz Hall will continue to be a first year residence hall and the proposed unit typology was developed to break down each floor community into smaller communities of students. Shuttles Hall was improved in its appeal as a four-year residence hall through the introduction of single bedrooms arranged in semi-suites and by increasing the size of existing double bedroom semi-suites. An addition to the front of Shuttles improved its physical presence and created a central lounge space on each floor. Mary Hay and Peyton Halls serve as Arts Community housing and were programmed and designed as a unit, with studio and gallery space to support arts activities. Semi-suites cluster doubles and singles with the notion of younger and older students living together in mentored communities.