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April 30, 2001

South Hall at PLU

Photos courtesy of Mithun Architects

The new South Hall at Pacific Lutheran University is located two blocks from the main campus in Tacoma -- presenting a challenge to connect the student housing to the university.

The challenge was met by vacating one of the streets between South Hall and the campus to create a park. Public areas of the building face toward the school to help create the connection, and other architectural cues were also used such as scale, materials, rhythm and colors that correspond with the character of the university.

The building's "U" shape helps create a sense of community, as does the outdoor courtyard.

South Hall offers studio, two- and four-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom townhouses, one-bedroom lofts and a single five-bedroom townhouse, each with separate kitchen and bathroom facilities. The west leg of the building has a large two-story space for group functions and can double as an instructional area when required. Parking is provided for 130 cars immediately adjacent to the building.

One of the goals of building South Hall was to attract older students to on-campus living. The percentage of students living in university housing has increased to 45 percent this year, up from 41 last year.

common room
at night
Owner: Pacific Lutheran University

Architect: Mithun Architects+Designers+Planners

Development manager: Lorig & Associates

General contractor: Walsh Construction

Landscape architect: Nakano Associates

Structural engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen

Construction cost: $7 million

Do you have photos of recent projects? Share them with DJC readers. Send high-resolution images and information to lisa.lannigan@djc.com.

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