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  North Hall Student Housing, Wayne State University, Page 40North Hall Student Housing, Wayne State University
Neumann/Smith & Associates
400 Galleria Officentre, #555, Southfield, MI 48034

Detroit, Michigan
Total Square Feet: 111,510
Construction Period: July 2001 to Aug 2002

Construction Team
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: Turner Construction Company - 535 Griswold, #200, Detroit, MI 48226
Structural Engineer: Desai/Nasr Consulting Engineers, Inc. - 6765 Daly Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Electrical Engineer: Peter Basso Associates, Inc. - 5145 Livernois Road, #100, Troy, MI 48098
Mechanical Engineer: RW Mead - 33795 Riviera, Fraser, MI 48026
Landscape Architect: WH Canon, Inc. - 36700 Northline Road, Romulus, MI 48174

The North Hall Student Housing at Wayne State University, is the first phase in the University President's goal of adding 5,000 housing units to this commuter campus. This six-story residence hall set a standard plus met a tight budget. 

The 2.5 acre site is located on a prominent corner at the western edge of the campus adjacent to Williams Mall on Anthony Wayne Drive which, once a city street, has become the most important east-west pedestrian passage through the University. Only the library building separates the new residence hall from Gullen Mall, the major north-south pedestrian circulation. The campus is characterized by wide sidewalks among greenspace with mature trees. It is rather suburban in nature although in the heart of the City.

The cost per square foot was the major generator of the straight-forward design, a simple six-story masonry bearing wall and concrete plank structure arranged in a double-loaded corridor configuration. Even within this pattern, care was taken to provide glass at ends of corridors and create glass bay-like social and study lounges that would ameliorate the long corridors by bringing in natural cross lighting.

The majority of the building is comprised of two-bed apartments with bath, as well as a few single rooms, all a departure from the University's last dormitory style building which was built 25 years earlier.

First floor offices for the University's housing administration, retail space and a cafeteria, originally sized for the building's users, but later expanded to be a University-wide facility, further stretched the budget.

The dining area and grill are simple in materials, but enlivened with color and pattern. Residential floors are equally direct, with wood doors and furniture being the only elements providing warmth.

The exterior expression is a direct extension of the plan with operable, aluminum sash, punched windows for the rooms, and curtain walls for the ends of corridors and lounges. Small canopies mark entrances. Brick was selected to match the light colorization of other campus buildings. Dark brick forms a base with lighter brick acting as an inexpensive stone trim. Red brick inserts are used at glass entry towers for emphasis.

The second phase, currently in construction, will complete the interior court and make the loading dock separate.


DIV 04: Glazed Block: Stark Ceramics.
DIV 07: Built-Up: Koppers; Hatch: Bilco; Insulation: Owens Corning.
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts: Vistawall; Windows: Traco. 
DIV 09: Acoustical Treatment: Armstrong; Carpet: Lee's; Base: Roppe; Resilient: Armstrong.   

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