Villa del Puente and “El Portal”, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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Villa del Puente and “El Portal”
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Highland District Housing started with a University initiative to re-think the present campus housing and give special emphasis to Student Success, specifically the retention of first year students. Villa del Puente and "El Portal" are phase one of Highland District Housing. They frame a significant Gateway on the University of Arizona campus. After consideration of many potential forms to address this popular but difficult intersection of the campus, the design team settled upon the "diagonal" street intersecting a Neighborhood Square. Student rooms in a variety of configurations are arranged in four wings around a private courtyard. Informal gathering and study is accommodated in great rooms, group study rooms, individual study rooms and laundry/activity rooms. The building is designed to encourage residents to spend time in communal spaces, increasing the informal learning that occurs through chance encounters.