Residential college model the focus here at SMU

Student housing on a grand scale is the defining characteristic of the new Residential & Dining Commons at Southern Methodist University. The sheer scope of the project—1,250 beds in five residence halls, a 500-seat dining commons and an 800-car parking structure – is massive, even by Texas standards. But the detailed Georgian-style architecture paired with high-quality materials, including slate roofing, brick and high-performance glass also contribute to the impressive nature of this project that opened to students in August. SMU blog_1_exterior The Residential Commons enables SMU to implement a new requirement that sophomores live on campus as well as facilitate the melding of academics and student life. Each of the five, new 250-bed residence halls features a residential college approach, including a faculty-in-residence apartment, classrooms and seminar rooms, which expand opportunities for learning, informal interactions with professors and mentoring. Green spaces such as this courtyard are found within the quad and allow students to see and be seen while walking to class or to the dining hall. SMU blog_2 exterior SMU blog_3 exterior SMU blog_4 exterior SMU blog_5 dining interior Various types of lighting and seating play an important role in helping to define different areas in the new 500-seat dining hall. From booths to banquettes and tables of multiple heights, the space features both quiet and social spaces depending on the student's mood. Punches of SMU's school color and logo are used throughout to customize the dining hall. SMU blog_6 dining at dusk In the all-you-care-to-eat style dining hall is a two-story dome with a glass curtain wall that features electrochromic glass windows–programmed with an iPad, it allows staff to control the level of UV-tint based on the season and time of day–an important feature under the hot Dallas sun. Student services, administrative and other support functions are also housed within the Commons, a project that will help recruit and retain students at SMU for generations to come.

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