Manzanita Hall

Education Winner

Project: Manzanita Hall | Tempe AZ

Firm: Sixthriver Architects | Austin TX

Design Statement

Manzanita Hall, an icon of 1960s architecture and the Arizona State University Campus, reopens as a co-ed freshman residence hall. The design team was challenged with modernizing the 1967 building while maintaining the iconic architectural character, bringing daylight into communal spaces and improving physical connectivity of the social spaces. The ground floor lobby requires controlled access between the resident entry and the dining hall, which is open to all University students. A custom fabricated steel and 3-Form screen wall was designed to minimize the visual separation between spaces, while controlling access at this critical point. As residents move through the lobby, the visual perspective of the wall changes color and opacity. The ground floor features the original terrazzo floor, providing a quiet backdrop for the custom walnut wood planks, materials consistent with the era of the original building. A subtle finish palette of white, silver, and grey are balanced by the bold intersection of color and patterns inspired by the local landscape. Once a dimly lit and isolated space, the basement was transformed to an open study and recreational lounge. The addition of a light wall and full height glazing allow residents a view to an exterior rock garden. The use of two story lounges connects residential floors and promotes community interaction. These lounges span between the unused, exterior interstitial space of the building, exposing the triangular lattice structure. These neighborhood spaces provide residents with communal kitchens, lounges, laundry facilities and study rooms.

The leasing space serves as the first impression for prospective students when visiting the residence hall so it was imperative to provide a warm and welcoming space. The carpet was selected for its pattern and earth tones that are harmonious with the native landscape of the Phoenix area. The edgy pattern alludes to notions of connectivity and community that are pertinent throughout the interior. Due to the considerable demands of student life, commercial grade carpet was essential at the resident units. The selected carpet provides a backdrop of warmth and lofty texture desired for a dwelling, while robust enough for extensive use.

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