Dartmouth College House Center Pilots by Sasaki

Offering students a “living room” feel public space.

Project Specs


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In 2014, Sasaki completed a study of Dartmouth College’s residential life experience. Following recommendations from this study, the college officially moved to a house system in 2016. This change will strengthen community, promote continuity of friendship over students’ college careers, and increase opportunities for deeper intellectual engagement through informal interactions. The six house communities are formed from clusters of existing residence halls, many of which were built between 1920–50. As this housing stock had not been built to accommodate student life needs, four communities required additional common space to support the new house programming. Sasaki designed two temporary House Centers to meet this need.

▼A栋舍堂活动中心外貌,exterior view of House Center A

▼A栋舍堂活动中心为张拉膜结构,House Center A is a tensile membrane structure


The design team embraced the concept of “temporary” buildings to rethink traditional models of residential life construction. A demonstration of the team’s forward-looking thinking, the structures provide several benefits. Low cost and simple design enabled fast construction to support the new system; flexible programming enables the discovery of what spaces work best in support of future residence hall construction; and the buildings can be adapted to suit future uses.

▼灵活配置的功能内容为住宿生提供极大弹性,flexible programming enables the discovery of what spaces work best in support of future residence hall construction


These two buildings were completed in time for the Fall 2016 semester and have been an immediate success with students. Several students have commented on how these buildings provide a space that was previously lacking. These buildings offer a “living room” feel—more casual than the library, more intimate than the dining hall, and more social than the traditional residence halls.

▼B栋舍堂活动中心外观,the exterior view of B House Center

▼延伸到室外的公共活动区域,extend the public space to outdoors

▼B栋舍堂活动中心采用木材元素丰富的水泥板包层,the B House Center is a wood frame building


The architectural styles vary, reinforcing the experimental intent. House Center A is a tensile membrane structure that emits a soft glow at night, while House Center B is a wood frame building with cement-board cladding and floor-to-ceiling windows. Both have open floorplans and exposed structural and mechanical systems. Movable furniture encourage students to “own” the space, testing configurations that complement their needs.

▼如“起居室”一般的活动空间,the buildings offer a “living room” feel

▼简约设计,simple design

项目名称: 达特茅斯学院舍堂活动中心试点设计
项目位置: 美国新罕布什尔州汉诺佛市
业主名称: 达特茅斯学院
项目现状: 2016年8月完成
规模: A栋:440平方米;B栋:590平方米
服务范围: 建筑设计
摄影: ©Jane Messinger

Project name: Dartmouth College House Center Pilots
Project location: Hanover, New Hampshire
Client name: Dartmouth College
Completion date: completed August 2016
Size: House Center A: 440 sqm
House Center B: 590 sqm
Services: Architecture
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Planning & Urban Design
Photography: ©Jane Messinger

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