Southwest Minnesota State University, Privatized Student Housing

Marshall, Minnesota

  • FIRM

    Horty Elving


    Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation

  • AREA

    54,926 sq.ft.





Beginning by surveying students regarding perceived housing needs and preferences, the architect embarked on a design/build project with Southwest Minnesota State University to construct privatized student housing.

Situated in the rural community of Marshall, in west-central Minnesota, this small university of about 3,000 students has about 800 students who live ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY182COST PER SQ FT$124.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio campus. Students expressed a desire for more independence. The design responds by creating a private bedroom for each student and a kitchen for each of the units.

Another goal of the design is to attract students who might be drawn by a more urban design aesthetic. There are three different kitchen colors in the building—red, yellow and blue. The exterior of the building expresses this interior color scheme.

A local bank believed in the idea of privatized student housing and provided financing, allowing the SMSU Foundation to own the building and lease it to the university, with the university managing the project.