Century Park North
University of Southern Mississippi
Residential community for 864 students comprising 7 structures, with four 4-story gender-specific residential halls, learning center, security kiosk and support facilities (physical plant). All rooms are double occupancy with private baths.
The Century Park Residential Community is influenced by many programmatic factors: cost, campus security, pedestrian scale, historic context and environmental responsibility. Designed to a shifting paradigm of student expectations, the project transforms a flat surface parking lot and encourages pluralistic campus life through the creation of outdoor socialization areas.
Its architectural vernacular references an aesthetic of traditional Southern restraint including such classic exterior elements as red brick, quoins, cast stone trim, white colonnaded entrance porches, multi-lite windows with painted white trim, deep and ornate cornices, and steeply sloping red clay tile and/or shingle roofs. Exterior shading devices on contemporary curtainwalls used at stairwell enclosures control the introduction of natural light into the vertical circulation systems. Roofing and paving materials were selected for their effectiveness in reducing heat island effects. Residents and occupants of all buildings enjoy natural light and views to the central courtyard quadrangles that interact with the buildings. Interior materials include high recycled content, low VOC furniture, paint and carpet systems and sustainably harvested wood products, including wood laminate flooring used throughout typical resident rooms. The Owner was engaged in the sustainability process through the implementation of programs including educational outreach, green housekeeping and organic landscape maintenance.
The residential community re-establishes an important axial relationship with the original and historic academic zone of the campus. Along this axis is the Learning Center, the physical as well as the social focal point of the residential community. Residence halls are oriented along a shaded east-west axis to maximize solar control and are designed to be approached from within the courtyard space, enabling the exterior design along the thoroughfare to the south and the industrial complex to the north to act as a perfect foil for the support areas they serve.