New residence hall on LTU campus wins architecture award

The College of Architecture + Design at Lawrence Technological University is routinely ranked among the best of the nation’s architecture schools. Now, one of the university’s newest buildings on its Southfield campus is being recognized for its own contributions to the region’s architectural landscape.

The local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, AIA Detroit, has named the LTU East Residence Hall as one of its winners in the 2021 Architectural Honor Awards of AIA Detroit. Also winning in the Building category is the ZEISS Michigan Quality Excellence Center in Wixom.

Adding to the feathers in LTU’s cap is the fact that INFORM Studio is responsible for the design, a Northville-based architecture firm founded by LTU alumni.

“Student housing is bound by tight constraints of budget, high density, and context. The jury appreciated that great care was given to connection and integration; linkages between residence halls, the campus, and surroundings will serve students well as a catalyst for pedestrian activity, spontaneous interactions, and a sense of community,” a statement from the awards jury reads, a group consisting of members of AIA San Diego.

The two buildings that make up the East Residence Hall complex house up to 308 first-year students, bridging LTU’s north and south campus regions. The awards jury credits the new residence hall as further establishing LTU as a residential university, a welcome acknowledgement for a university that has long been considered a commuter school for metro Detroit.

Judges also celebrated the building as a catalyst for pedestrian activity, for its prominent first-floor fitness center, and for its substantial use of glass, letting the outside in. Computational design technology helped in the building’s layout.

“We are honored to be recognized by the AIA for our newest residence hall, a building that combines sustainability features, a striking, modern appearance, and a sense of true community and belonging for our students,” says Virinder Moudgil, president of Lawrence Technological University.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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