TCU Opens New KSQ-Designed Student Housing Facility

A new KSQ-designed residence hall opens at Texas Christian University. The project is an example of institutions looking at 'retro housing', a community-focused push-back against on-campus projects that aim to replicate the off-campus experience.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Clark MillsFort Worth, Texas—Work has been completed on a two-building student housing property on the campus of Texas Christian University. Known as Marion and Clark Halls, the residence halls offer 400 suite-style beds for sophomores at the TCU, which is in Fort Worth.

TCU, a private university affiliated with the Disciples of Christ, currently has an enrollment of about 8,640 undergraduates. The number of applicants to the school has grown considerably in recent years, from about 4,500 in 2000 to over 19,000 in 2011.

Marion and Clark Halls is the first of three phases planned for the Worth Hills Village development, which will eventually include a third residence hall, a parking structure, and a dining/multipurpose building and Greek Village. In total, the development will house 1,800 students.

A barrel-vault archway is the signature design element of the building, serving as both a figurative and literal connector to the surrounding TCU campus. “Marion and Clark form the gateway to the residential community on the southwest corner of the campus, which has always been a little detached from the main part of the campus,” KSQ Architects partner David Short tells MHN. “The university wanted to make the community feel like it was closer to the rest of the campus.”

KSQ Architects designed the new residence hall. The firm has provided architectural services for more than 16 new or renovated residence halls on the TCU campus since 1995, and so far the number of student beds provided in these projects is more than 3,000. KSQ specializes in student housing and other multifamily property designs.

Short adds that he’s seeing an increasing demand for student housing properties that are more closely linked to their campuses. “We’re seeing some demand for retro housing, in the sense that schools are rethinking decisions to develop student housing that’s too much like off-campus apartments,” he says. “Those kinds of apartments don’t always support the goals of the institution, one of which is form a genuine community. Students who live in apartment-like housing sometimes withdraw into them.”

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