California State University’s new Suites at University Park are organized around the living room concept. The common idea behind the site and building design is the goal of having students see and be seen in a comfortable and familiar environment. The proposed residential community model creates a gradually scaled social setting which allows freshman students to adapt to the university experience. Each floor features clusters of bedrooms and bathrooms centered around living/study areas. Each 32-student group serves as a ‘home base’ and provides choice for developing friendships. Bathrooms are located outside of the bedroom to encourage interaction among roommates and neighbors.
The site design promotes interaction between students by focusing entrances and activities around a central outdoor space. The overall site scheme maximizes site area, preserves existing pedestrian circulation, sensibly responds to site conditions, and creates a safe living environment for freshman students. The new housing units are positioned to create their own sense of community while maintaining a visual and physical connection to existing roads, parking, paths, buildings, and pool. Common program features are oriented inward, thus energizing the courtyard.