The North Village Residences

McDaniel College | Westminster, MD

Faced with increased enrollment and an aging student housing stock, McDaniel College embarked on an ambitious expansion to their residence hall portfolio. MCA presented three very different options for campus development of campus housing, with two options for medium-rise new buildings more centrally located on campus, and the concept for a “residential village” of apartment-style buildings along the north edge of campus, adjacent to older single-family residential housing owned by the College along Pennsylvania Avenue. The major advantage of the village concept was that it would allow the College to build out residential facilities over time, in increments that could be turned into funding availability. The College chose to proceed with this concept, and MCA was engaged to complete the design.

The North Village was developed in two distinct main phases – initially a First Phase with a group of 6 buildings of two prototypes – a “Medium Sized” Building” comprising four (5-6 bed) apartments(each with double bathrooms) for a total of 22 students, and a smaller building comprised of two apartments and a laundry facility accommodating 10 students. The smaller building prototype serves as an infill building, fitting comfortably between the existing houses, which were also renovated by the College.

The Second Phase followed shortly after, with the provision of a “Large Building” that comprised 10 (4-6 bed)apartments and a central laundry facility accommodating 46 students. The large building served as an anchor for the overall village development along the north end.

This project provided environmentally responsive, small-scale, low-impact residential apartments located adjacent to a historic district. The form and detailing of the buildings are compatible with the eclectic style of local vernacular, mixing elements of the Craftsman, Bungalow, and Shingle styles, with gable and hip roofs, stone bases, and covered porches. The residence halls use building materials requiring minimal maintenance.

The new residence halls comprise individual apartments with eat-in kitchens, a high ratio of bathrooms to students, and two common laundry facilities. The first floors of the two-story living facilities are accessible and apartments are adaptable in accordance with Fair Housing requirements guidelines. Two buildings are specially adapted to accommodate the hearing impaired. The facilities utilize an extremely energy-efficient geothermal heat-pump HVAC system.

Both Phases of the development included extensive landscaping and brick-paved pedestrian walkways and courtyards. The second Phase included a complete realignment of the main entrance road, creating a distinct new campus entrance defined by new stone walls and signage and provided with a vehicle turn-off for orientation with a large campus map.

tag: Residence Hall, Residence Halls, Dormitory, Dormitories, Housing

Project Highlights

  • Extensive use of interior wood detailing, from windows to cabinets and trim provide a warm residential atmosphere
  • Provides a cohesive “village” community atmosphere; the development provides brick lined pedestrian walkways and outdoor common spaces with stone seating walls.
  • Buildings constructed of economical panelized wood frame construction, with central plumbing cores of masonry, steel and concrete construction for durability
  • Extensive and artful landscaping with pleasing yet low maintenance plant materials
  • Exterior details with bracketed gables and canopies provide an inviting residential context with low maintenance materials
  • The saving and refurbishment of existing historic houses, along with carefully saving major trees provides a mature feel for the development
  • All buildings are served with comfortable and highly energy efficient ground source geothermal heating and cooling systems
  • A major new campus entrance, loop road reconfiguration and additional parking are defined by new stone entrance walls and signage

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