Construction Zone: Preserving Tradition (with related video)

The newest addition to Towson University's, Towson, Md., growing campus opened its doors today after almost two years of construction. West Village Commons, a new LEED silver-certified dining and student-life facility, will serve as an anchor for the West Village Precinct, adjacent to the Precinct's quad and also close to both on- and off-campus housing. The West Village Precinct is expected to house 3,900 students by 2016.

The new building was conceived as the heart of the West Village Precinct — essentially the precinct's "living room." The building communicates the spirit and energy of the campus, offering a vibrant, inviting space, both in and out. The exterior expression of the commons, the design of the interior gathering spaces, and the open, multi-floor circulation core, as well as the selection of materials and finishes, all play significant roles in breathing life into the facility and making students feel at home. The building brings much-needed relief spaces to the west edge of campus and gives the students an area to eat, socialize and study in their own residential neighborhood. The new $31.5 million, 86,339-square-foot building includes retail and dining areas, study spaces, meeting rooms, student gathering spaces and a large, multipurpose special-event space.

As the university grows, safety remains a priority. The new building effectively addresses the school's need to help students who are walking from their off-campus apartments to the West Village Precinct reach campus safely. The facility features a pedestrian pathway that traverses a steep hill adjacent to the new facility, enabling students to come and go safely on the popular, previously unpaved route. A new shuttle route also is part of the design, giving the Towson community easy access to the commons.

The building was designed by GWWO Architects (Baltimore).

Related Video

Towson's West Village Commons:

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