UW-Whitewater New Residence Hall

​​Project Number: #06C1Q

Art Budget: $69,000 (Expected to cover all design and fabrication expenses associated with the project.)

Application/Image Deadline: Deadline has passed; for reference only

Eligibility Criteria: All artists from Arts Midwest region are eligible to apply 

(Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin)

Art Schedule

Design Due: Spring 2010

Installation: Fall 2010

Building Completion: Summer 2010

Architects: Potter Lawson, Inc., Madison, WI 

& Cannon Design, Chicago, IL


The University

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is both a major undergraduate and a regional graduate campus within the University of Wisconsin System, which ranks among the top education systems in the nation. The UW-Whitewater was founded in 1868 and has a current enrollment of 10,700 students. The University offers 46 undergraduate and 16 graduate degree programs, and is best known for its business, computer science, and teacher education programs. The UW-Whitewater campus is located in the city of Whitewater (population 14,700) and draws most of its students from the surrounding geographical area. The University has a master plan for green space that involves collecting every species of tree native to Wisconsin. Many of the campus buildings are named after geological land forms (such as Esker, Drumlin and Moraine) found within the Kettle Moraine region. The University is also especially proud of its accessibility to people with disabilities and its sense of community. http://www.uww.edu/


Starin Residence Hall

Starin Residence Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will be home to 446 upperclassmen. This 5-story, suite-style residence hall suite will provide four private bedrooms, a living room, a kitchenette, and separate bathroom facilities in each unit. Starin Residence Hall will give UW-Whitewater the ability to offer upperclassmen the kind of accommodations and privacy they are looking for with the added convenience of being on campus.

Starin Residence Hall was built with the campus’ commitment to sustainability and universal design in mind. The project currently is in line for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – from the US Green Building Council) Gold certification. Sustainability issues will be addressed both as part of the programming efforts for the residence hall and throughout the architecture of the new facility. The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater’s mission states a commitment to create and maintain a positive and inviting environment for students with disabilities. Toward that goal, both public and private spaces in Starin Hall will embrace the concept of universal design. 


The Site

The new Starin Residence Hall is located at the southeast corner of Prince Street and Starin Road, bounded on the east by Carter Mall and on the south by Carlson Hall. Proximity to the academic core of the campus provides an ideal location for adult learners who attend the large and growing summer camps and conference programs on campus. Construction of Starin Residence Hall replaces Sayles and White Halls. The site work for the new residence hall includes a 50-stall parking lot, a courtyard space enclosed on three sides by the building, and additional pedestrian walks to connect the building with the greater campus.

The parking lot is located south of the residence hall and is accessed from Prince Street by a drive, which also provides service vehicle access to the east. Eight of the 50 parking stalls will be handicapped accessible, following the University’s focus on Universal Design. Located within the main parking island will be the trash/recycling enclosure, covered bike stalls, and the enclosures for the generator and electrical transformer.


The Facility

The architectural design concept centers on the formation of a single residence hall with two distinct wings in lieu of two separate buildings. Two residential wings, oriented east-west, are joined by ground floor common spaces and shared public support spaces in the basement and by a glass enclosed bridge on the upper floors. An external courtyard, intended for the building residents, is formed between the north and south wings.

The north wing is angled to reinforce the existing pedestrian flow through the site, soften the impact of the building along Starin Road to the north and open views into the campus green space from the new gateway formed at the northwest corner of the site. The stepped façade of the north wing implies a visual connection between the residence hall occupants and the heart of the campus to the east. The stepped plan also achieves true north and south exposures for the majority of the suite windows, maximizing natural solar control.

The south wing is not stepped. The south edge was limited by the service access connecting Prince Street with the new COBE building. However, the benefits of views east and west were attained with living spaces that project past the predominant wall planes and have glazing on the east and west faces.

The New Residence Hall is a high performance project that is being sited, developed and operated to maximize resource conservation and minimize negative environmental impact. A LEED Gold certification rating is being sought for this project. Universal design principles were followed throughout the new facility. In addition to all suites providing varying degrees of universal access, 38 resident bedrooms meet ADA residential access requirements. This is more than four times the code-required minimum number of accessible bedrooms.

The student living units are configured with single occupancy 9x12 ft bedrooms in suite-style arrangements. Each suite includes four bedrooms; a common area; kitchenette with sink, microwave and refrigerator; and a bathroom. The building also contains office and support facilities, a front desk/main lounge area, a leadership involvement office (Hall Council), a faculty office, two collaborative learning rooms, a dividable seminar room, a computer lab, ten studio units for resident assistants, two 2-bedroom apartments for the residence hall directors, telecom/data rooms, a support/computer room, conference and seminar rooms, storage rooms, public restrooms on the ground floor and basement, a larger kitchen in the basement, and a custodial closet in every wing. Each residential wing includes a lounge. Other facilities located in the basement include a laundry room, multipurpose/TV room, and storage rooms.

This courtyard space between the two wings includes a walking path and a small gathering space for building users at the courtyard’s west end. The walking path will consist of crushed limestone to reduce impervious surfaces but still allow Universal access. The courtyard landscaping includes small, mounded berms that correspond with the curvilinear pathway and a few deciduous trees for shade during the summer.

The glass enclosed northeast space ties the campus entry and building entrance to the center of the campus. A major pedestrian connection from student housing at the north to the center of campus is preserved, but slightly realigned. From this diagonal connection, students can access the hall’s main entrance facing east. Additional accessible entry points are provided at the building’s northwest entrance, the south entrance, and at the southwest entrance.

The overall siting of the facility preserves green space, in particular, the grove of trees on the south portion of the site. Site landscaping includes deciduous trees, lawn areas, and low shrubs. An 18"-wide stone mulch band around the building’s perimeter simplifies mowing maintenance. Plant species are selected for their superior disease resistance and low maintenance requirements. No irrigation is included in the project, so species are also selected for their drought tolerance. The lawn areas will be seeded with erosion net in areas with steeper slopes. 



The primary audience for this facility will be the juniors, seniors and graduate students who live in this building. The secondary audience will be vehicular and pedestrian traffic passing along Prince Street, who will have an excellent view to the courtyard between the north and south wings. Artists should consider the age of the students and also the general public who will be viewing this artwork. Students will be continually be arriving and leaving this facility. The selection committee has considered the following interior and exterior sites and is open to sites that the artist may identify.

Potential interior sites include:

  1. Glass treatment in the glass bridge which extends from the second to fifth levels. [ image ] [ image ]
  2. The elevator lobbies on the five floors.
  3. Glass treatment at the northeast entrance and common area. [ image ]

Potential exterior spaces include:

  1. The west facing courtyard between the north and south wings including the patio at the west end of the courtyard (site 4a); the plantings in this courtyard area may be modified. [ image ] [ image ]
  2. The large blanks walls on the east side of the north wing. [ image ]
  3. The north east entrance area green space and/or the north side along the horizontal berm. [ image ] [ image ]

Conceptual Considerations

The selection committee is interested in artwork that considers universal design and sustainable issues. Artists should consider the age of the students who will be viewing this artwork. Students will be continually arriving and leaving this facility. The selection committee is interested in artwork that:

  • serves as an interactive gathering space.
  • serves as a springboard forth into the outside world.
  • expresses the yearning to be free of college constraints and learning to be an adult.
  • supports the building’s “green” or sustainability theme by creating awareness of or is symbolic of ideas/concepts related to environmental/energy conservation issues.
  • has a strong intellectual and poetic dimension.
  • is timeless and bears repeated viewing over time.
  • may be nonrepresentational, but not so abstract as to be unrecognizable by faculty & students.
  • serves as an ambassador—the artwork needs to be appealing and accessible to non-arts people.
  • is complex enough to allow viewers to learn from it over time and provides a sense of discovery.

Potential Materials

The selection committee is interested in durable, permanent materials that support the artist’s concept and require minimal maintenance. Regionally derived natural materials and/or materials that support the green focus of the facility would be very appropriate for this project. Artworks that utilize moving parts are not desired for this project.