Princeton learns from Studio Ma

Nick Myall
Thursday 16 Nov 2017

In response to the diverse needs of graduate students the units in this complex of homes at Princeton University have a variety of configurations

Based in New Jersey, USA, Princeton University's latest graduate housing enclave is called Lakeside. The complex has been designed by Studio Ma, a young design firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, and led by architects Christiana Moss and Chris Alt, who both trained in Norway under Pritzker Prize winner Sverre Fehn.

The new complex provides about 715 beds in a variety of townhome and mid-rise apartments on 14 acres of the main campus. A new Student Commons and a wrapped 550 car parking structure are carefully sited to connect Princeton's campus to Lake Carnegie. The design team, through an analysis of carbon footprint and embodied energy of the building materials, evaluated two existing 1960s era concrete structures and found that building new structures, due to better orientation and an improved thermal envelope, reduced carbon greenhouse gas emissions by 42% over a 10-year period even with the addition of 300 beds. The 384,000 sq ft project is designed to minimize impact on the surrounding old growth forest and to foster a cohesive, vibrant and active graduate community. The 6,000 sq ft Student Commons includes a multipurpose event space, staff offices, a community living room, kitchen, outdoor deck and barbeque, computer room, exercise room.

In response to the diverse needs of graduate students, unit types have been created toward a multigenerational population, providing for singles, roommates, partners, families and pets. Shared units are also available in larger townhomes and apartments which offer lower living costs and address affordability. The overall complex design encourages more connections and interactions between people, supporting an intimate campus and community sensibility. The layout of the buildings also creates several courtyards within the complex, with landscaped gardens, grass areas, a community garden, basketball and volleyball courts, and a patio with grill area. A parking garage for several hundred vehicles completes the complex.

Nick Myall

News editor

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