John Brown University

J. Alvin Residence Hall Renovation

The phased renovation of J. Alvin Hall transformed one of the campus’ most popular residences into a modern and architecturally cohesive structure.

The existing building was originally designed as a two free-standing motels connected by a 3-story atrium enclosure, creating challenges for the design team. The interior-facing facade of each structure is brick with open walkways at the upper levels. The interior suite-style units are organized around small bathrooms with community showers and building suites are connected only by exterior corridors.

To obscure the motel appearance and provide a better community living environment, Hastings+Chivetta Architects re-faced the interior facades, removing all existing partitions and redefined existing space.

A complete renovation of the atrium common area enhances the multipurpose nature of this space. The area is used to host special student events, as well as serves as a gaming area for students day in and day out. To improve the atrium’s aesthetics and acoustical properties, masonry was re-faced with drywall and other more appropriate interior materials. Skylights add natural light in what otherwise would be a large, mostly interior space.

All 208 residential units are designed so that each suite has a common lounge and larger community bathroom with individual shower stalls. New interior connecting corridors significantly improve egress and opportunities for interaction. A new bicycle storage area and renovated laundry are included in the lower level.

The renovation occurred in two phases to accommodate partial use of the building during construction. Exterior improvements include new energy efficient windows. Handicapped access is achieved by aligning uneven floor levels.

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Project Details

    • Gross Square Feet
    • 38,655
    • Completion Date
    • 2014
    • Construction Cost
    • $4,374,726
    • City
    • Siloam Springs
    • State
    • AR
    • Client Type
    • Private
    • Enrollment
    • 1-2,500