Most college students can't wait to get out of the dorms and into off-campus housing. At Wofford College, seniors have a reason to stick around: a New Urbanist–style neighborhood of cottages to call their own, complete with rockers, hammocks, and barbecue grills.
Founded in 1854, the 178-acre campus is recognized as a national arboretum; several of its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The student-housing plan will evolve as a traditional neighborhood in four phases, offering a variety of building types, architectural styles, and densities. The housing is consistent in style and scale with neighborhoods that surround the college.
“We didn't want to set it up and have it look like a subdivision with everything in a line at 90 degree angles,” says Ron Smith, managing principal of McMillan Smith & Partners Architects. “We made a special effort to save some older trees so it looks like housing that would have been there for some time.”
The first phase consists of seven buildings in the Charleston, S.C., style, massed around a central courtyard. The second phase will have a higher density and a more urban feel, while the third will feature an amphitheater for concerts. At completion, Smith says, the hope is to have a town center with retail shops, a central laundry, a fitness center, and perhaps faculty and retired alumni housing.
See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners
Category: Best site plan up to 20 acres;
Entrant/Architect/Interior designer: McMillan Smith & Partners Architects, Spartanburg, S.C.;
Builder: Trehel Corp., Greenville, S.C.;
Landscape architect: Innocenti & Webel, Locust Valley, N.Y.