The Scoop: Trends In Dorm Design

Summer is not only for vacations, it’s also higher-ed dorm renovation season. Makes sense to get some improvements done while the students are away on vacation. Over the past several years higher-ed institutions have shifted away from the standard dorm layout which had been typically two people sharing a room with a large shared bathroom/shower facility for the whole floor. The new trend is building luxurious amenity filled dorms with one and two beds, a private bathroom, kitchen and living area. In the common spaces you’ll find pool tables, mini movie theater rooms, and an upscale dining hall. With tuition on the rise each year, higher-ed institutions are enticing potential students by spending more on amenities than academics. Here are a few examples of the trends we’re seeing.

Trend 1 – Fostering a sense of community

MassArt ResidenceHall 02

MassArt Residence Hall – Boston, MA
(image courtesy of Lucy Chen via japan-architects)

MassArt ResidenceHall 01

MassArt Residence Hall – Boston, MA
(image courtesy of Lucy Chen via japan-architects)


Trend 2 – Shrinking bedroom size to make room for more common space

College of Wooster's Gault Schoolhouse

College of Wooster’s Gault Schoolhouse – Wooster, OH
(images courtesy of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting)


Trend 3 – Creating apartment style only dorm buildings

University of Wisconsin's Oshkosh Horizon Village

University of Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Horizon Village – Oshkosh, WI
(image of courtesy of VOA Associates Incorporated)


Trend 4 – Blending academics with living space: classrooms in the same building, group meeting rooms with presentation equipment, and study areas

Northeastern University - East Village

Northeastern University’s East Village – Boston, MA
(image courtesy of Dimella Shaffer)


Trend 5 – Having it all at your fingertips: gym, dining, and movie rooms available without having to leave the building

Drexel University's Chestnut Square

Drexel University’s Chestnut Square – Philadelphia, PA
(image courtesy of American Campus Communities)

Northeastern University's International Village

Northeastern University’s International Village – Boston, MA
(image courtesy of Elisif Brandon Photography via Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Inc.)

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