the garret

What’s top of mind at KSQ

Campus Commons

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The Project

In the mid-1990s TCU made the decision to have a more active, residential campus and to raise the bar on student life. The TCU, KSQ and Biddison Hier team proposed to move parking to the edge of campus and turn the giant parking lot in the center into Campus Commons–a green space twice the size of a football field with a student union, dining hall, and four upper division residence halls.

KSQ designed four residence halls in suite-style configurations with each student having their own bedroom and laundry rooms located on every other floor. The four residence halls house 628 upper division TCU students.

Respecting the existing Greek Revival-style architecture on the TCU campus was vital. Contextual materials including brick, stone and Ludowici roof tiles were used to unify the new structures. The connection of interior spaces with exterior courtyards, arcades and plazas, and the expansive lawn creates a more urban and interactive experience for students. Campus Commons has transformed student life at TCU into a true residential campus with a geographic center comprised of vast green space and a stunning mix of buildings where students now live, eat, play, socialize and engage.

The Details

Project Type: Master Planning and New Construction
Project Size: 217,000 SF
Completed: 2008
Client: Texas Christian University
Services: Planning, Architecture and Interior Design
Awards: Honorable Mention/Video* (SMPS Marketing Communications Awards, 2015)

“KSQ understands the components of the University’s masterplan and how the residence hall work fits into the total concept for the university… We have found each of the principals and the staff to be knowledgeable and committed to a high quality product… KSQ has been very attentive to our needs, offered creative solutions to our problems, and has responded in a timely way to the project deadlines… Each project has been completed on time, within budget and to our complete satisfaction. KSQ staffers are excellent in the programming stage, serious listeners, creative designers, and superb in project management.”
– Don Mills, Ph.D, former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, TCU

“KSQ demonstrates their greatest strength is their ability to truly listen to the client and respond to the client’s ideas and needs… They did a great job for us and truly made us feel a major part of the planning and the finished product.”
– Roger Fisher, Director of Residential Services, TCU

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Worth Hills Village

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The Project

The new Worth Hills Village development on the TCU campus is a direct response to the increasing demand for on-campus housing and a need for modern housing to accommodate TCU’s active Greek life. KSQ has completed three upper-division residence halls and a multipurpose building with a dining hall and is in the process of creating a new parking garage and a Greek Village with 11 chapter houses that are the new home for 25 TCU fraternity and sorority chapters. The Worth Hills Village provides TCU with 1,342 new beds.

The Details

Project Type: Planning and New Construction
Project Size: In Development (1,342 beds +/- when complete)
Completed: 2018
Client: Texas Christian University
Services: Programming, Planning, Architecture, and Interior Design
Awards: 1st Place Golden Trowel Award–Marion-Clark Halls / Texas Regional and State, Outstanding Design–Campus Master Planning / American School & University
Certification: LEED Gold
Media: University Business“Inside Look: Sustainable Campus Buildings”

Residence Halls

Pamela and Edward Clark and Marion Hall are connected by a dramatic barrel-vault archway serving as both a figurative and literal connector to the surrounding TCU campus. The halls offer 400 suite-style student beds designed for sophomores in a combination of two, three and four-bedroom suites.

Marlene Moss Hays Hall is the third residence hall in Worth Hills Village and has the greatest ratio of common space per student of any building on the TCU campus. The 65,829 SF building accommodates 164 sophomore students in suite-style housing with combinations of two to four-bed suites. Every student suite has its own living room and at least one in-suite bathroom, and each floor has a common area and study rooms.

Dining Hall

Situated to the north of Marion-Clark is the new 39,000 SF King Family Commons. Offering four dining platforms with indoor and outdoor seating (710 seats total), the space supplements the main dining facility on campus and is designed to build community in the new development

Exterior seating is on the south side next to an active route of pedestrians and is shared by large umbrellas. An outdoor amphitheater–equipped with speakers and projection equipment to display images directly on the building’s exterior–is on the east side of the building and creates a space for movie nights, speeches, and live music performances.

Inside, a grand dining area on the first floor features a high, classical barrel-vault ceiling and natural light to create an open and inviting atmosphere. While materials and colors are unique to each dining platform a terrazzo floor with flecks of purple circulating throughout unifies the space.

The building has an open stair (wrapped around a glass-encased elevator) leading to Greek Life offices and flexible spaces for dining, studying, special meetings, and dinners. Soft seating along the edge of the balcony juts out and visually connects with the open stairs and area below; inviting students upstairs as an alternative space.

Greek Village

The Greek Village within Worth Hills is comprised of a series of small, interconnected buildings in a park-like setting with features that create community and embrace Greek culture and ceremony. The 11 houses reflect TCU’s architectural style and chapters are connected in groups of two or three per building with shared interior stairs and elevators. TCU’s Ludowicci clay tile roofs top the houses and brick, cast stone, and stucco are used in a variety of patterns and front proportions for the facades. This variation gives each chapter its own unique identity and entrance along with the chapters having their own front porch with a round or square cast stone column either one or two stories high.

All of the houses are four stories high with fourth-floor bedrooms tucked into the roof area with dormer windows; allowing the overall scale of the buildings to be lower and more residential.

The landscape design incorporates terraces, slopes, groves, and open recreation spaces. Nods to Greek life are incorporated throughout the lawn as a visual show of university support and for ceremonies as well. A Greek-style row of columns numbered to support the Divine Nine is included, as well as an obelisk, ovals, and an ellipse.

“We are so pleased to offer our students another beautiful place to call home on the TCU campus! Marion and Clark halls create a gateway to our developing residential community and connect the Worth Hills community to the campus commons. It is the result of effective planning and programming, brilliant architectural design, and quality construction.”
– Kathy Cavins-Tull, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, TCU
Kathy Cavins’ video testimonial: Collaborate and Listen
Kathy Cavins’ video testimonial: Team

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Student Housing

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The Project

In our 20-year relationship with TCU we’ve renovated 11 residence halls on the campus totaling more than 500,000 SF. Over the past two decades, we’ve helped TCU create a true residential campus community and became better student housing designers from spending countless hours listening to students and other stakeholders. Our designs were driven from what we heard, and we programmed the spaces to create opportunity for student interaction and community building at every turn. All projects focus on the University’s long-term commitment to sustainability, and Sherley Hall was the first university facility to receive LEED Gold in the state of Texas.

Each project was unique and brought its own challenges and opportunities. Moncrief Hall was fast track, with 24-hour, six-days-a week-construction from May to August 2011. In four months we repaired and replaced the existing cast stone on the entire building envelope, provided a much-needed interior facelift, replaced the mechanical system, and created an outdoor living area and pergola to encourage student interaction and engagement.

To help freshman students feel more at home, we reconfigured common spaces to key locations in Clark Hall and used youthful accent colors to provide an identity to each floor to help give students a sense of home away from home. At Foster Hall we reconfigured the main entrance after student focus groups made it clear which entrance students actually used and preferred.

Milton Daniel Hall was transformed from a traditional hall into an honors college with high-end interior finishes and a scholarly feel to attract and retain honor level students. Colby Hall, the only all-female residence hall at TCU, was taken out of 1957 and turned into a modern, bright and in-demand residence hall with one of the best locations on campus.

One of the benefits of a long-term client partnership is seeing projects come full-circle. Many of the Greek life houses we once remodeled are now going away to make room for 25 new chapter houses in Worth Hills Village. Some TCU alum say, “I went to TCU too soon” and the Greek life project is a prime example as to why–student housing just keeps getting better.

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