Iowa State University Welcomes New Residence Hall

AMES, IowaGeoffroy Hall, a 193,000–square-foot residence hall on the Iowa State University (ISU) campus in Ames, officially opened to students on Jan. 18. The $47.3 million housing structure spans eight stories and was built to meet increased demand for on-campus housing — representing the first new residence hall built at ISU in more than a decade.

Opus Design Build L.L.C. served as the project’s design builder and Opus AE Group L.L.C. was the architect and structural engineer of record as well as the interior designer; both departments are headquartered in Minneapolis and operate a Des Moines, Iowa, office. KWK Architects of St. Louis also served as architect. Construction took place over 19 months, beginning in May 2015 and finishing in December 2016.

“As pioneers of the design-build approach, we were honored to collaborate with ISU on the university’s first ever design-build project,” said Jeff Smith, vice president, Opus Design Build L.L.C., in a statement. “Through our team approach, we were able to collaborate with ISU from start to finish to develop a flexible design that delivered added value to the university’s student housing needs and maximized the available resources to go above and beyond the project requirements.”

Located near the ISU Memorial Union, the new residence hall offers 392 rooms and features a variety of formal and informal gathering spaces, including a large activity room, various study areas and community spaces on each floor. The new structure also introduces to the campus the concept of “front porch” spaces that serve as areas for residents to socialize and meet in groups, according to a statement by Opus. This design element reflects ISU’s tradition of grouping students living on each floor into a “house.”

“The sooner we create meaningful connections among students, the more likely they are to graduate,” said Dr. Peter Englin, director, ISU Department of Residence, in a statement. “The design of Geoffroy Hall enhances our house system by giving our students places to both naturally and intentionally cross paths and build those connections.”

Geoffroy House, which was designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards, should be operating at full capacity by the upcoming fall semester. Opus also completed The Foundry, a luxury student housing complex located adjacent to Iowa State’s campus, which opened in 2015.