The Student Residence : Void Tower is a 10 story dormitory for freshman students enrolled in a noted art and design institute in Brooklyn New York. This new residence hall is designed to foster a culture of exploration and invention in its incoming first year cohort through blending of shared and public living, learning, and making spaces. The disruption of a normative housing typology is manifested around a vertical courtyard or ‘void tower’. The void tower is both an organizational concept and a distinctive form configured in elevation to expand the dimensions of the openings to the lounges at the upper floors of the building and compress around a skylight centered over the ground floor lounge.
Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2022
First Award | Institutional (Built)
Project Name: Student Residence Void Tower
Studio Name: HMA Hanrahan Meyers Architects
The building is located approximately one block from the main campus gate, embedded within the Clinton Hill neighborhood. The main floors are set back from the street with entry through a one-story podium. Within this podium students can use the central event space for social or study activities and the adjacent maker space which includes studio resources. Upper floors consist of 14 rooms for two students each. Shared, compartmentalized bathrooms are distributed throughout the floor. The central lounge on each floor has a work counter and furniture for community use. The exterior is composed primarily of brick with curved stainless steel panels. These materials are intended to engage the historic brick campus and neighborhood while setting apart the distinctive forms of the courtyard and lounge spaces.
Designed as an innovative collaboration between two architecture firms and the Institute, this project presents important opportunities for the social and intellectual development of students and promotes a culture of invention and collaboration.
The design of the building utilizes no cost, passive design features as the primary means to reduce energy consumption. Conceived as robust, masonry clad volumes complementary to the Brooklyn context, 65% of the building enclosure is made of solid, super-insulated cavity walls, while operable windows are deeply recessed from the exterior brick face for summer shading.
Students enjoy leaving their dorm rooms open during the times when the floors are fully occupied, so the doors are carefully aligned to create cross ventilation in temperate weather. All rooms have individually controlled heat pumps, and all lights are indirectly mounted LED strips with both motion and light sensors. Each central lounge has floor to ceiling glass which eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the day, and deep overhanging eaves protect these areas from strong afternoon sun.