When I was in college I lived in a cinder-block walled dorm room. I'm not complaining, I went to a small art school and had a pretty large room that I only shared with one other person. I thought I was pretty lucky. But today's students are getting high end dorms designed by big name architects who are committed to building sustainably and building green.
The Graduate Student Housing for Harvard University is prominently sited on the Charles River in Cambridge. The 177,000 square foot building houses 215 beds, a Faculty Director’s Suite, several common & study lounges, a multi-purpose room, and an underground parking facility. But the main differences between it and other traditional dorm buildings is that, far from looking institutional, it is beautiful and it is green. The building has been designed for maximum natural light, large airy common rooms and soothing, natural finishes. Designed by Kyu Sung Woo and awaiting its LEED certification, the graduate student housing uses minimal energy and was made with recycled and renewable materials (like bamboo flooring) and low VOC paints throughout.
An even more impressive feat when you consider that campus building often faces leaner budgets and hard deadlines for completion.
Some other notable green university buildings are the SUNY Cortland Glass Tower, The New House at Carnegie Mellon, Green Quad at the University of South Carolina, and the newly renovated Shattuck Hall at Portland State.
Photos via Sunset and © Timothy Hursley