Project File: Apartment-style living

The California State University — Fullerton, Student Housing Complex was designed in one year and constructed in 18 months in order to meet the university's increased demand for undergraduate housing. The complex opened in time for the 2002-2003 school year thanks to a simple design plan, which incorporated social nodes and high-tech group study spaces.

The new complex is modeled after apartment-style living and provides a vital link to the campus' existing residential complex. The 440-bed complex has five, four-story buildings, strategically situated around a center courtyard. A typical unit is about 975 square feet and includes four single-occupancy rooms, two private bathrooms, shared kitchen and living areas, and balconies.

Because the project was to be completed within 18 months, once the floor plate was designed, it was then replicated throughout the building to keep construction costs low.

To meet the deadline, the architect and the contractor used a prefabricated system of wood framed floors that allowed for each unit to be built and stored off-site. Once the foundation was poured, the prefabricated units were assembled on site at a rate of two living units per week.

Project architect is The Steinberg Group (Los Angeles) and the contractor is SJ Amoroso Contractors (Newport Beach, Calif.).

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