Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., has opened its newest living and learning community, The Commons, which provides housing for 1,135 students.
The university says The Commons is a $225 million development that consists of six apartment-style residence halls—Arch Hall, Canon Hall, Chapter Hall, Cupola Hall, Friar Hall and Trinity Hall. They are the first new residence halls built at Villanova since 2000
“The opening of The Commons is the culmination of extraordinary efforts by many, both within and outside Villanova University over a number of years,” says University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue. “The end result is a magnificent living and learning environment that will be enjoyed by Villanovans for generations to come. With the new Pedestrian Bridge and stone architecture of The Commons creating a beautiful new entryway to campus, you will now drive through Villanova instead of past Villanova.”
The new residence halls bring the total number of on-campus residence buildings to 32 and enable Villanova to provide campus housing to 85% of its students.
A key aspect of The Commons is its sustainable design and benefits. On the outside, all light fixtures are dark sky compliant, reducing light pollution. Two underground cisterns will collect stormwater from the roofs, filter the water and re-use it to cool the buildings.
Three bioswales, designed as walls with seating, will remove debris and pollution from surface water runoff. In all, it is estimated that 400,000 gallons of water can be saved each year with this sustainable infrastructure.
These areas also will be used as stormwater test sites, allowing College of Engineering faculty and students to further their research in the areas of stormwater management and green infrastructure. Inside the buildings, students will find energy-efficient and motion sensor light fixtures and low-flow plumbing fixtures to help reduce energy costs.
Amenities include two fitness centers equipped with weights, cardiovascular training equipment and aerobics class space for spin classes, etc.; IT TechZone space for students to connect, collaborate and innovate; six community rooms; a smart-locker mailroom; and outdoor courtyards for students to meet and study.
The collegiate gothic look that’s distinctive of Villanova’s campus can be seen throughout The Commons.
The architects are Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Voith & Mactavish Architects.