University of Houston Cougar Place Student Housing
With the momentum of the 2006 Campus Framework Master Plan and its vision to increase on campus student housing to 25% of its FTE student population, the University of Houston is redeveloping the West Campus. In addition to the Cougar Woods Dining Hall across the street, Page was engaged to program, master plan, and design the 800-bed Cougar Place Sophomore Housing Replacement.
Cougar Place is organized around two connected residential quads. At the intersection of the quads, a centrally located knuckle contains the larger shared program elements such as community kitchens and laundry areas. Additional smaller community areas like study areas and lounges are spread throughout the rest of the project. Adjacent to the entry are the commons and reception area. Nearby are three university classrooms with separate entries. Cougar Place includes private bedrooms in four-room suites with kitchenettes.
The pavilion-like massing of the commons with the sloping roof and generous overhangs provides an inviting entry and relates to the Cougar Woods Dining Hall located across Cullen. The massing of the building, limited to four floors, connects to the adjacent low-rise residential neighborhood to the south and the rest of the larger-scaled campus to the north. The main public and resident entry for the project is from the northeast side of the site to connect with the rest of the campus, while the building is serviced from the south.
The majority of the building is clad in brick and metal panel, referencing materials found on other campus projects. The buff colored brick is accented with dark brick bands to recall the water table base and vertical window panels found on many of the historic buildings found on campus, while the gray metal panels are similar to the cast aluminum panels found on those historic buildings. Small areas of curtainwall are used at the student lounges around the building, and large glass windows bring light into exit stairs and at the ends of corridors. Vinyl clad windows with performance glass are used for the residential units.
Existing trees have been preserved on the site where possible and additional trees were added to tie the project to the rest of the campus, particularly to the park-like setting of the Cougar Woods Dining Hall across the street.
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