The Catholic University of America, Opus Residence Hall

Washington, District of Columbia

Phase I of a new residence hall complex at the Catholic University of America, Opus Hall is a seven-story, 400-bed suite-style residence hall for upperclassmen. The Collegiate Gothic-style building is designed to achieve LEED silver certification through several methods, including the use of innovative R26 precast sandwich panels for the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY402COST PER SQ FT$223.00FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio walls; energy-efficient lighting, appliances and equipment; and other sustainable elements, such as stormwater management. Catholic University intends to use the hall to demonstrate the value of sustainable design to the campus and broader community.

The site for this project occupies a prominent location on campus, serving as an important campus edge and strong visual face to the surrounding Washington, D.C., community. The architectural features of the hall provide continuity in planning and design language, serving as the anchoring building for the newly created residential precinct.

Once complete, the three-phase complex will occupy the street edge and create an expansive communal space on a terraced lawn on the interior quadrangle. A large, landscaped arrival plaza serves as the connection between the lawn and the campus beyond.

Public spaces within the buildings are focused onto the lawn, and adjacent outdoor terraces encourage student activity and interaction. The architectural vocabulary is intended to be contextual to the neighboring residence halls, and serve as modernized interpretations of the campus’ Gothic roots.