In desperate need of student housing, Salem State University’s vision for their new residence hall surpassed providing comfortable and functional accommodations to encompass developing an iconic structure that serves as the visual center of the campus and that houses critical academic programs.
A restrictive site bound by a tidal salt marsh, existing commercial buildings, and a residential neighborhood limited the building’s height and informed its asymmetrical plan. The H-shaped layout addresses two distinct outdoor spaces — the marsh to the east and a new campus lawn to the west — and joins them visually and experientially through active first-floor entry and common spaces.
Atlantic Hall houses 458 undergraduate students in six-person suites with full kitchens. Its architectural language couples the spirit of enterprise and invention found at the University with the richness of its historic context. Borrowing from Salem’s maritime heritage, the residence hall evokes the Yankee practicality and economy of traditional masonry, while its dramatic glass-enclosed stair tower and photovoltaic array demonstrate that the building — and the University — are progressive and forward-looking.
Awards • American and School and University Portfolio’s Outstanding Projects, Campus Master Planning • American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase, Silver Citation, Residence Halls/Lounges • College Planning & Management Education Design Showcase Awards, Honorable Mention • International Illumination Design Award, Boston Section