University of Connecticut, Storrs - Laurel & Oak Halls


Designed as an ensemble, Oak & Laurel Halls create a dense campus center and reinforce the central pedestrian crossroads of Fairfield and Academic Way. Together, the two buildings constitute a new home for the social science departmental offices and teaching spaces. Their forms are inflected to shape pedestrian movement and landscape spaces, and both buildings share a common palette of materials- copper and brick- to contribute to a more coherent campus center. Laurel Hall is organized around an interior public area, a light-filled central atrium. Two large lecture halls occupy a compact copper-wrapped volume with an extensively planted green roof. Across the atrium, smaller classrooms are stacked in a three-story brick volume that defines the Main Quadrangle. Student seating and waiting space is provided near all classrooms at every level. Diagonally across Fairfield Way, the two L-shaped wings of Oak Hall create an exterior public space comprised of two interconnected courtyards and maximize perimeter office space. A 200 person day-lit lecture hall and large classrooms occupy the ground level; students and faculty interact in the public galleries surrounding the courtyards. The three upper floors accommodate seminar rooms, faculty and research offices, and specialized teaching spaces. Copper lines the inner courtyards, while brick defines the outer facades. The two buildings are tied together by a sustainable landscape and resonate with each other in massing, form, and material. Sustainable strategies include bioswales, permeable paving, and native plantings to provide water management and conservation. Oak & Laurel Halls have achieved LEED Gold certification.

Constructed, 2012