Student housing has long been seen as serving both an economic and a social purpose. We regard it as a special form of living, during a very special time in our lives, in a special community. But many of us also know the feeling afterwards of how nice it can be to live in your own clean flat. If you have ever lived in tiny, shabby student accommodation while at the same time enjoying the student highlife, you are bound to be astonished by this stunning student housing.

Harvard as a neighbour

The Simmons Hall student dormitory is inside the campus of the MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which, together with nearby Harvard University, is one of the most popular and renowned universities in the world. There are more than 10,000 students studying there from all over the US and 100 countries worldwide. Many former students have won Nobel prizes for outstanding peace activities, economics, chemistry or medicine.

High-end user facilities

Simmons Hall stands 10 stories high and houses 350 undergraduate students. The building is punctuated by terraces and atria and includes a computer cluster, fitness center, a multi-purpose room, a game room, music rooms, street-level dining, a 125-seat theater as well as laundry facilities and kitchenettes.

Five colours membrane

The unique architectural building utilizes over 24,000 square feet of Sarnafil membrane in five custom colors – blue, green, red, yellow and orange. Because of the dorm’s irregular shape, stagings were used to lower the membrane down several stories. Separate crews adhered the felt-backed membrane to vertical walls and overhead soffits at each story level, following a specific color design pattern. Applying Sarnafil membrane to vertical walls, rather than to horizontal surfaces, is a highly unusual application and was done to achieve the desired color plan.

Cambridge landmark

Simmons Hall’s bold geometry is already a Cambridge landmark. The shimmering exterior is wrapped in more than 5,500 windows connected by a grid of anodized aluminum. So the building reflects during the day and glows with interior light after dark. The design of the windows provides low-energy ventilation and dehumidification. In addition, the exposed interior concrete supports night ventilation and maintains cooler temperatures during the day. And now you tell me… Who among you would not have wished to have spent their first semester there?

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