In an era of lightning-fast technological change and interconnectivity, can universities live up to the challenge of offering student communities merged with academic settings and networks that foster innovation? Leading architecture firm Studio Ma offers a resounding yes and proves it through their design for Arizona State University’s new, 16-floor residence hall and entrepreneurial center in downtown Phoenix.
The 284,000-square-foot project set to break ground in January, which has been called Downtown Phoenix Residence Hall and Entrepreneurial Center, will set the stage to cultivate and amplify new research and entrepreneurship when it opens in the fall of 2021. It will also house a community of up to 530 students and visiting professionals in a setting that connects them with the regional business community and with key resources supporting creative ventures among students, faculty, alumni and local artists, businesses and government agencies.
The Downtown Phoenix Residence Hall and Entrepreneurial Center will include 13 floors of student housing built over a high-tech innovation hub for the arts and design spanning three floors. Geared toward such academic programs as industrial design, popular music and fashion, the innovation hub will integrate under the same roof a range of entrepreneurial and community-focused programs from across the Herberger Institute of Design & the Arts. Facilities will include a mix of studios, classrooms, offices, exhibition and event space, as well as fabrication and workshop areas with special environmental systems and equipment.
In a competitive process, Capstone Development Partners -- the national leader in student housing development and management -- selected Studio Ma for the project based on its committed leadership, familiarity with the university and market, and ability to push the envelope on design and sustainability while maintaining all budget and performance parameters. Rounding out the team is DPR Construction, another longtime partner of Arizona State University, as the design-build provider.
The work promises to make Phoenix among the first U.S. cities with a university-activated downtown space dedicated to collaboration across creative fields, organizations and market sectors.
The team’s work on Downtown Phoenix Residence Hall and Entrepreneurial Center aims to design a platform for a new way of working and collaborating in the arts and design. Studio Ma’s design concept features an L-shaped residential tower that encloses the innovation hub. Using floor-to-ceiling glass windows and cementitious cladding with insulated metal panels -- also used for the residential tower exteriors -- the innovation hub presents an angular façade designed to draw in maximum daylight while keeping interiors cool, creating a striking and memorable visual image for the city. The building systems and exterior envelope proposed for the project will help the university meet a minimum green building rating level of at least LEED Silver, with special consideration for the environmental quality in fabrication rooms and studio areas storing sensitive materials and produce noise and dust from specialized equipment.
“The Studio Ma team rolled up their sleeves along with our design-build partners to create an innovative and sustainable building design, that involved multiple constituents and stakeholders, while optimizing the project budget and being steadfast in maintaining the schedule, despite evolving project and program requirements,” says William Davis, executive vice president of Capstone Development Partners, the public-private partnership (P3) developer.
Other recent works by Studio Ma for Arizona State University have included the award-winning conceptual design for ISTB-7, a 258,000-square-foot, interdisciplinary science and research complex designed as a triple-net-zero facility and lauded as “a new generation of sustainable design solutions that are climate-responsive and employ regenerative technologies.” The architecture firm has also led Arizona State University in various large campus renovations, including their Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the acclaimed Memorial Union Plaza.
The groundbreaking of Downtown Phoenix Residence Hall and Entrepreneurial Center also heralds the arrival of next-generation sustainable construction on university campuses, showcasing Studio Ma’s capacity to design with care for the future, the environment, and the client’s vision all at once. The result will be a thriving hub of enterprise at Arizona State University to showcase students and graduates for the local creative economy while driving economic development and minimizing environmental impact.