University of Georgia, Reed Hall Renovation

Athens, Georgia

Like many older residence halls throughout the United States, the University of Georgia (UGA)’s Reed Hall had become out of date and did not meet the standards of the modern student. Originally built in 1952 as a 499-bed facility, Reed Hall was designated in 1992 as the first residence hall to be remodeled according to UGA’s new master-plan strategy.

The overall ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMBurt Hill Kosar & Rittelmann, AssociatesCAPACITY296COST PER SQ FT$95.00CITATIONRenovation/Modernization CitationFEATURED IN1999 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation was to transform the facility into a state-of-the-art student residence hall. Program requirements included: reconfigure rooms to increase student privacy, while maintaining maximum housing capacity; enhance and enlarge central gathering and special-purpose spaces to encourage social interaction among students; provide each resident with individual room temperature control, and voice, data and video communications with flexibility for future technology; improve the building’s appearance with attention to the entrance, lighting, finishes and furniture; replace all building systems for better quality and efficiency.

The main challenges involved creating new gathering spaces and reconfiguring the interior layout within the strict limitations of the existing concrete frame. The design of the additions also needed to be sensitive to the original building and historic context.

Throughout the design process, the design team worked closely with the university and designed mock configurations for student surveys and input. The design team’s response included the following:

complete interior demolition and rearrangement of student rooms and bathrooms to create singles, doubles and suites with shared decentralized baths replacing the old gang-style bathrooms; enclosing the unattractive portico to create the lounge and adding onto the rear to create a two-story programming space; adding clerestories between existing dormers on the fourth floor to provide additional light and more useful space.

The new construction matches the original concrete frame with exterior brick and stone. New aluminum windows replaced the obsolete steel sash units, while maintaining a similar appearance. Primary interior walls were constructed of concrete block, specially treated to create horizontal banding. Secondary walls and soffits are of gypsum board over metal studs. Acoustic-tile ceilings were used in corridors to provide access to new systems.

The mechanical system uses campus steam and adds a local cooling tower with a four-pipe individual fan-coil unit.

Photographers: ©Rion Rizzo/Creative Sources Photography

"The additions to this project enhance the original building and provide much-needed commons areas...the difference is nothing short of remarkable."—1999 jury