Peak Campus U District is thoughtfully designed student housing that captures its ideal central location within the University District. The project is composed of two building masses brought together by a pair of connected courtyards that become the nexus of the community and distinguish Peak Campus U District from other student housing options. Designing around these greenspaces, our team set out to create a safe, welcoming place for students to study and relax just blocks from campus.
Inspired by the project’s setting at the intersection of residential and academic communities, as well as in between neighborhood greenspaces, our team developed two core architectural concepts—“convergence of community” and “connected open spaces.” The first is conveyed in the massing of the project, imagined as a single rectangular structure at the convergence of residential and academic communities, that is pulled apart by the dual forces to create two buildings connected by central open spaces. The second concept is actualized as a pair of linked courtyards. These private amenities “connect” a key pair of nearby public greenspaces: University of Washington’s campus quads to the south and Ravenna Park to the north. On either side of our outdoor spaces, the buildings’ massing demarcates connection to either academic or residential communities.
The two courtyards offer an idyllic setting for student gatherings, lawn games, and relaxation. They also allow for more fresh air and natural light to flow through the center of the large building. Raised planters and trees create a lush environment while offering privacy for the units facing them. A double height breezeway connects the courtyards for continuous navigation. Warm colored paneling in various shades on walls that surround them further fosters their inviting, communal feeling. This palette is inspired by the brickwork of nearby buildings and contrasts the urban aesthetic of the simple and clean material on the street-facing façades.
While these beautiful courtyards are solely for residents, Peak Campus U District also delivers a memorable public presence to passersby in the form of an entry plaza, with two-story high windows that wrap around the street corner. Activated amenity areas —media lounge, communal coffee bar, banquet with chairs and tables, accent staircase, and concierge—are intentionally located along two of the windowed street frontages to enliven the façades. The main entry is also strategically located directly next to a bus stop that takes residents to and from campus.
Along 15th Ave, ground-level residential unit entries along the street balance privacy and connection to the public. The raised patios and stoops have been thoughtfully positioned with guardrails and Corten metal privacy screens to demarcate this change in space without losing the welcoming sensibility.
With the elevated, international tastes of its future residents in mind, our architecture team designed student housing that is not just sophisticated in concept, but also adept in functionality. At the convergence of residential and academic communities, both publicly viewable indoor amenities and private outdoor courtyards offer students a range of spaces to learn and lounge in comfort at Peak Campus U District.