South Village Student Housing
West Chester University | West Chester, Pennsylvania
University Student Housing (USH), an independent organization affiliated with West Chester University, sought to expand the existing 11-building South Village complex to provide an additional 60 apartments. The selected site presented challenges as it was constrained by setbacks, steep slopes, and an adjacent historic building.
In designing what would become The South Village at West Chester University, VMA was not only to expand the project to include 66 new apartments but through a series of vignettes were able to craft site configurations to meet both housing and parking goals.
To overcome the challenges on the site, the buildings are placed to form small, internal courtyards that create outdoor rooms for student enjoyment. The attractive, tiered configuration worked naturally with the 40 feet of site slope and provided the six “bonus” walk-out apartments and a common room not in the original plan. The project also incorporated ground-coupled heat pumps connected to a central pump room served by 60 geothermal wells on site.
Each apartment unit contains four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a living area, full kitchen, and laundry facilities. The bathrooms are designed with lavatories separated from the toilets and showers to simultaneously allow use by two people. Shared amenities include a flexible common room with kitchenette for casual gatherings, a 12-seat movie room, and addition to the existing clubhouse for a fitness center and convenience store.
Size: 99,000 sf
Budget: $18 million