Svigals + Partners, LLP

Svigals + Partners, LLP

New Haven, CT


Fairfield University Residence Hall

The freshman residence halls were constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s clad in monochromatic beige and tan brick. With concrete block interior walls and little embellishment or color, inside or out, these utilitarian buildings lacked individual identity, as well as the programmatic spaces and amenities to contribute to a vibrant living and learning atmosphere.

The design for the renovated buildings called for an entry canopy at each hall open to the courtyard side to emphasize student interaction and give visual connection between buildings. The entries lead to renovated space inside, including lobbies, student lounges with windows overlooking the courtyard, staff offices and meeting rooms.

Sculptural art, a hallmark of the firm’s work, is woven into elements throughout, beginning with engraved pavers at the entries. Each lobby features a sculpted fiberglass mural wall depicting images relevant to Jesuit pedagogy, while the student lounges are given new warmth and character by cladding the existing concrete block walls with Mondrian-inspired wood paneling with etched figurative panels. 

The new residence hall is sited to provide a focal point for the freshman “neighborhood”. Like its sister buildings, it is a four-story brick-clad building with notable design departures: the student lounge becomes an architectural feature as a single-story protrusion. The mass of the building is further modulated with an upper story that shifts off the main floor supported by a column colonnade.  At night, the three-story glass curtain wall will shine like a beacon across the campus.

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Status: Built
Location: Fairfield, CT, US
My Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Architect