South Village Student Housing
West Chester University | West Chester, Pennsylvania
The South Village at West Chester University provides apartment-style housing for its students. Looking to expand the existing 11-building complex to provide an additional 60 apartments, University Student Housing (USH), an independent organization affiliated with the university, hired VMA to design 5 new buildings and related on a challenging sloped site constrained by setbacks, steep slopes, and an adjacent historic building.
Our process began with a series of vignettes showing interesting and engaging site configurations that would meet housing and parking goals. The buildings are placed to form small, internal courtyards that create outdoor spaces reminiscent of the main campus. The attractive, tiered configuration of the site worked naturally with the 40 feet of site slope and provided six “bonus” walk-out apartments and a common room that were not in the original program. The project incorporated ground-coupled heat pumps connected to a central pump room and served by 60 geothermal wells buried on site.
There are 66 apartments total, each with four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a living area, full kitchen, and laundry facilities. The bathrooms were designed with lavatories separated from the toilets and showers to allow simultaneous use by two people. Shared amenities include a flexible common room with kitchenette for casual gatherings and a 12-seat movie room, plus an addition to the existing clubhouse for a fitness center and convenience store.
Size: 99,000 sf
Budget: $18 million