A Dungeon-like Dormitory Is Revamped to Promote Academic Success and Overall Wellness

To create the new pedestrian pathway leading to the entryway pavilion, the stream running through the site needed to be bridged. The solution was to cover the low-lying stream area with a deck comprised of composite deck boards supported by sawn lumber joists and a structural-steel girder and post frame. The layout of this steel frame and its foundations were carefully coordinated to maintain the tranquil feel of the space and preserve the existing trees and stream bed.

To minimize disruptions for students and the university, it was crucial for all demolition and construction to be completed within the narrow window of summer break. This compressed schedule was achieved through intensive and ongoing coordination between the engineering team and contractor before and during design.

A group gaming room has a variety of gaming spaces for online tournament-style gaming or casual social gaming with friends.

Modernizing Materials

Built in the mid-1960s, the existing set of buildings that make up Edens Quad was constructed of cast-in-place concrete, pre-cast concrete wall panels with Hillsborough stone and storefront glazing. To give these outdated structures a modern revitalization, the team utilized a combination of steel for the structure, phenolic liner panels, curtainwall glazing and wood wall panels on the interior. In each case, the stone-clad precast wall panels in commons spaces were removed and replaced with new glass curtainwall.

Inside, wood-lined walls mixed with the glass curtainwall convey a sense of warmth for students. This overall blend of traditional stone and contemporary glass and steel creates an eye-catching juxtaposition between old and new.

Lighting and Lanterns

By upgrading finishes and replacing exterior cladding with large glass storefront systems and drop fixtures from the ceiling, the buildings were transformed and now provide more natural light and transparency. The new windows and fixtures also establish an important visual connection between the student commons spaces and the exterior quad activity. Daylight fills these spaces during the day while indoor light spills out into the quad after dark, allowing programs and activities to be seen from outside.

The commons rooms were conceived as “lanterns” throughout the quad to provide added transparency and illuminate the interior spaces during the evening hours. These lanterns have also become a new visual identity for the complex because they are visible from neighboring residential halls.

An Evolving Campus

“Residential and social life at Duke is the subject of continuous study and adjustment,” comments Steve Nowicki, former vice provost and dean of undergraduate education. “Much as the educational experience has evolved, so too have living patterns and the way students connect with each other and their communities.”

So how were the renovations received by students?

Puncturing one of the “fortress” walls and extending the structure connected the existing campus axis into the complex’s interior quad.

“The renovations are really awesome,” says Zarina Bentum, an Edens Quad residence assistant. She called the plans well thought out and elegantly done, adding, “The changes really resolve the complaints students raised.”

LoBiondo notes that Edens Quad now sees a lot more regular foot traffic. With the added amenities and the outdoor gathering spaces, students are drawn to this part of campus. Edens Quad has become an appealing destination that is connected to and engaged with the greater campus at Duke University.

Retrofit Team

ARCHITECT; INTERIOR DESIGNER; AND CIVIL, ELECTRICAL, FIRE PROTECTION, MECHANICAL/PLUMBING AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Clark Nexsen

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Surface 678

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Shelco

Materials

ALUMINUM STOREFRONT WINDOWS AND DOORS: Kawneer

EXTERIOR PHENOLIC PANELS: Meteon from Trespa

CARPET TILES: Code Series from Tarkett

OPEN STUDY SPACE FURNITURE: Parson Bar Table from Nevins, Brooks Barstool from Stylex and Visor Lounge Chair from Encore Seating

GROUP GAMING ROOM FURNITURE: Chiara Lounge Chairs from Bernhardt Design and Collective Motion Seating from Jofco by Jasper Group

EXTERIOR ZINC CLADDING: VMZinc

MULTIPURPOSE ROOM OPERABLE GLASS PARTITION SYSTEM: NanaWall

PENDANT LIGHTING: S2530 Series from Scott Architectural Lighting

About the Author

Chris Brasier,FAIA,LEEDAP & Shann Rushing,AIA,LEEDAPBD+C
Chris Brasier FAIA, LEED AP, leads Clark Nexsen’s Higher Education practice and serves as a design director within the firm. and Shann Rushing, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a principal at Clark Nexsen who has focused his career on the design, management, and construction of higher-education and civic projects.

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