Sorin Residence Hall Renovation.
Sorin Hall, a historic men’s undergraduate residence hall constructed in 1888, has undergone a transformative renovation. The aim of this project was to preserve the unique qualities and architectural identity of Sorin Hall while improving its functionality, accessibility, and overall living experience for the students. The project, which has now been completed, stands as a testament to the successful collaboration between the university, design professionals, and construction teams.
The renovation encompassed a comprehensive upgrade of various areas within Sorin Hall, breathing new life into its aging structure. Restrooms, lounges, storage facilities, trash and recycling systems, hallways, study spaces, student room configurations (singles, doubles, triples, and quads), hall kitchen, front desk, mailroom, lobby, visitor restroom, laundry facilities, office spaces, vending areas, fitness center, elevator, stairs, apartments, custodial areas, mechanical rooms, electrical spaces, and OIT (Office of Information Technology) facilities all underwent significant improvements. The goal was to create inviting and functional spaces that would enhance the daily lives of the residents while respecting the historical significance of the hall.
A primary focus of this project was to enhance accessibility throughout the Sorin Residence Hall renovation. Adhering to current ADA guidelines, the design team ensured that all new elements were fully accessible. A modern elevator was installed, seamlessly blending with the existing architecture. An accessible exterior entrance was also created, providing easy entry for residents and visitors alike. While some residential spaces posed historic architectural constraints, diligent efforts were made to provide disabled students with access to all common areas, fostering inclusivity within the residence hall community.
The modernization of systems infrastructure was a critical aspect of the renovation. Outdated heating and ventilation systems were replaced, allowing for greater control and energy efficiency. To ensure the comfort of residents, new Mitsubishi heating/cooling systems were installed, offering zoned controls and Display Data Channel (DDC) interface for personalized climate settings in each room. The domestic hot and cold water systems, as well as the sanitary sewer system, were entirely replaced, ensuring reliable and efficient service.
The primary and secondary electrical systems, lighting, and grounding system were upgraded, with a new emergency power accommodation system put in place to provide an uninterrupted power supply. Additionally, interior door units were equipped with new electronic hardware utilizing proximity card technology, enhancing security and convenience for residents.
The interior spaces of Sorin Hall underwent a complete transformation, with renewed finishes and carefully selected owner-furnished furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) items. The design team focused on creating a contemporary yet timeless aesthetic that harmonized with the building’s historical context. The revitalized living spaces exude a sense of comfort and sophistication, providing a welcoming environment for residents to study, socialize, and relax.
Landscape architecture services were also provided by Arkos Design, and the hardscape surrounding the Sorin Residence Hall renovation received significant attention, with the aim of enhancing both functionality and aesthetics. Sidewalks, ramps, masonry paver areas, building steps, and stoops were meticulously repaired or replaced, ensuring safe and accessible pathways. Handrails were added to improve safety for residents and visitors. The project also introduced new courtyard elements, such as lush greenery, inviting benches, and bike loops, creating spaces for relaxation, recreation, and community engagement. Exterior trash receptacles were strategically placed to maintain cleanliness and promote environmental consciousness.
As an additional amenity, a new patio and BBQ unit were constructed, inspired by the existing units at Badin, Morrissey, and Dillon Halls. This addition provides residents with an outdoor gathering space, perfect for socializing and enjoying barbecues in the company of friends.
Thoughtful landscaping played a crucial role in enhancing the visual appeal and ambiance of the Sorin Residence Hall renovation.