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|Waterville, Maine, USA
In support of the ongoing expansion of its academic programme, Colby College commissioned Hopkins to design new residences to support the growing student population.
The Mayflower Residences will house up to 200 upper classmen, all of whom will be in years 3 to 4. We took this opportunity to evolve the student housing typology and address the specific needs of this particular demographic, who are already studying and socialising in established groups and cohorts.
Our design supports the idea of a family within a family, breaking down the mass of a standard 200 room block into six individual houses. Rather than the traditional 'hotel' layout with individual rooms accessed from long corridors, suites of bedrooms for 3-7 students are arranged around a central stair and elevator, each enjoying a communal living space. Individual 'houses' have their own front door, arranged around informal landscaped gardens. Suites also share a kitchen, creating a set of social spaces and communities that are layered between the scales of the suite, floor and house.
The Mayflower Residences sit on a sloping site between Colby's new Performing Arts Center and Mayflower Hill Lawn, the symbolic centre of the campus. Our project offers an opportunity to better connect these two assets by creating pathways that cross the site, passing under and between the new buildings.
Designed at a domestic scale, these 3-4 storey houses feature softly pitched roofs, with active chimneys which supply and extract air. A natural palette of materials features soft buff brickwork and timber, and CLT structure. Stairwells located at the elevations are clad in wood louvres, offering views out and a sense of animation when viewed from the outside.
The environmental performance of the project is enhanced by the use of triple glazing, mass timber construction, radiant slab heating and cooling and an extensive use of natural materials.
The buildings are set amongst the trees stepping up the hill, with staggered elevations that further break down massing. A hierarchy of landscaped spaces preserves the special character of the wooded sloping site. Areas close to the residences are distinct from campus landscape, delineated with denser planting to offer more privacy.
The project is due to start on site in 2024 and will complete in autumn 2026.