One of this week's featured articles “Residential Common Spaces That Really Work: A Post-Occupancy Study,” by Julia Nugent, of HMFH Architects.
Nugent tells the story of the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA), the entity that plans, designs, finances, and constructs all of the student life facilities for the system’s nine campuses, which decided it needed to find out what types of spaces foster resident students’ personal, social, and academic growth. "The MSCBA launched the Residential Common Space Study to evaluate 15 of its new or newly renovated residential buildings and characterize in quantitative and qualitative terms the buildings’ public spaces and their effect on residential communities. In short, the MSCBA sought guidelines for common space programming and design that could be readily duplicated in upcoming projects."
Then she shares her observations, as a partner in the process, about some really practical observations and conclusions in a variety of realms:
With plenty of images!
Read the article, and share your own conclusions and images, please.
Why doesn't the download work? I'd love to read this!
The findings from this article illustrate how students can use space to comfortably interact with people they know well and those they are getting to know in a social environment. While the use of glass walls gives a sense of privacy, it also allows people to see what is going on in a room before entering. This is less intimidating than walking into an enclosed room with a closed door. Glass walls also have the added benefit of sharing light, both natural and artificial, with the rest of the building. The use of glass walls was also mentioned in the article, "The Transformative Educational Experience", in Week 2 of the Mojo. This article highlighted glass walls in learning spaces, specifically letting people see into labs or classrooms where learning was taking place. Both articles show the value of opening up learning environments visually. This is important inside a building and can also be used to give more people access to a view outside.
We had an office environment, like many in higher education, that had an interior area designated for full time administrative staff surrounded by private offices with windows to the exterior. When all the offices doors were closed, the administrative staff had no natural light and no view to the outside world. We addressed this problem by making an interior window in a conference room (office) so that the staff could benefit by natural lights and views - even though they have to look through two windows. You can never underestimate the power of glass!
Deborah, were you able to access the article after all? Please let me know if not: firstname.lastname@example.org.