A parking garage and a dirt lot are where this project began. The location was the ideal place to create a new, mixed-use student housing complex consisting of two separate buildings in the heart of Tucson. Adjacent to thriving music venues, new restaurants, the historic Hotel Congress, and many transit options, the design and naming concept behind the building, “The Cadence,” reflects the rhythm and vibe of this emerging district.
The design of The Cadence hinges on the concepts of being gritty and polished, rustic and refined. The grit comes into play with the character of the building and the raw materials used. The polished interior and higher-end finishes gives it a refined look and feel.
Because of its location on a prominent corner in the city, the building acts as a “public gateway”. The first thing visitors see is a “Welcome to Tucson” sign in front of a tower that’s set back from the street. A tall vertical structure on the other side draws the eye to downtown Tucson. Working closely with the city, crosswalks were added to make the area more pedestrian-friendly and safer for students. A retail plaza space also helps slow down traffic.
The two buildings each have unique details, but share a common design language. The Greyhound building is more active with a pool and a more dynamic social atmosphere. Units range from 3-5 bedrooms and are for students who want roommates and the chance to work and relax together. The Railyard building caters to upper-class and graduate students, boasting views of the campus and a rooftop fire pit to relax and unwind. Primarily featuring studios and one-bedroom apartments, it affords a quieter, more mellow vibe. With its three stories built on top of an existing parking garage, and due to the proximity to an active freight train line, extensive sound dampening was necessary to reduce the auditory impact.
The Cadence is all about bringing students together. Functioning as the heart of the project, the Living room centers around a double-sided fireplace. Large garage doors open out to a courtyard in the center of the Greyhound building, offering a place for students from both buildings to gather, swim, barbecue, watch movies on a big screen, and create a community.
Extra steps were taken to provide a safe and secure home for the students. The main door faces the plaza and has a 24/7 concierge to act as a buffer from the street and pedestrian traffic. Points of entry are limited and keyed with fobs for students, while there is one public entry with a security desk for visitors to check in.