The Rountree Commons residence hall supports the University of Wisconsin Platteville’s long-term plans to increase student residential options for this growing campus of approximately 7,500 students. Located on a graded triangular site, the 153,068 square foot, six-floor residence includes 620 beds within private suites, a main-floor commons area, a convenience store, several lounges, two multipurpose rooms, media and fitness centers, and laundry facilities.
The L-shaped building features a poured concrete foundation and buff-colored brick façade. The unique exterior design contrasts austere block with corrugated metal-panel trim in variegated-brown tones. The building conveys a sense of stability, yet presents a fun and unique appearance which the students love.
A landscaped courtyard with benches, gravel paths and planting within the L offers students recreational opportunities. A series of orange awnings and banners reflect the campus’s traditional orange and blue colors, while three student sculptures complete the exterior detailing.
The interior emphasizes comfort and convenience. The first floor commons features courtyard views, warm-toned maple ceilings, concrete floors with glass insets, and additional student art pieces. Varied seating offers opportunities for relaxing, meeting with friends, or studying.
The exterior masonry material (Heritage Collection™ Designer Concrete Brick) was selected for a combination of factors: durability for the long life of the building; color selection to compliment the natural aspects of the region; cost effectiveness; and an aesthetic that complements both the residential nature of the program and the massing and form of the building. The architect also appreciated the highly consistent color and texture of the product.
The construction of the residence hall was not without its challenges. The design had to accommodate a steeply sloped project site and meet a tight budget while providing a warm and welcoming environment for students. In addition, the construction schedule was very fast due to the need to get the building ready for incoming students in the fall. However, these challenges were met handily. The project was completed between May, 2011 and July 2012, and hundreds of students now call Rountree Commons home.