Great Basin Hall - University of Nevada, Reno
Located on Virginia Street, a prominent north-south arterial in Reno, Great Basin Hall defines one of the gateways of the University of Nevada, Reno, as envisioned in the 2014 campus master plan. The new residence hall, which is located on the western edge of the campus, provides 434 beds on five levels primarily for first-year students intending to pursue a major in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field. The building mitigates a grade change in two directions with a stepped massing scheme that helps it to fit contextually with the Virginia Street Gymnasium to the north and Lincoln Hall to the south, which is the second-oldest building on the campus.
The 114,000 square-foot building houses residential units specially designed with input from STEM students and includes suites designed to appeal to second- and third-year residents who provide mentorship to the first-year students. Other STEM-specific features include a ground level computer lab, liberal use of writable wall surfaces for equations and formulas in study lounges, and an innovation lab with a raw, concrete floor on the garden level to accommodate a wide variety of student projects.
The architectural design of the building is a response to the University’s desire to follow the “Jeffersonian” style of the older campus buildings, and it contributes to the campus context with the use of prominent materials and massing elements. It features a 24-hour computer lab and innovation lab for project designs, television and quiet-study lounges on every floor, laundry and vending facilities as well as a satellite location for the Nevada Wolf Shop campus store.
Great Basin Hall was designed to meet LEED Gold standards and has a very low impact on the environment. Sustainable features include energy-efficient mechanical systems, LED lighting, low water-flow fixtures, recycled materials and large windows to maximize natural light.
The project is a replacement for an older, smaller facility that accommodated far fewer students. Page teamed with Van Woert Biggotti Architecture of Reno who provided construction documentation and administration for the project.