The integrations studio focused on campus housing, designing structures and landscape to enhance the student experience at the University of Tennessee. This group project focused on Presidential Court, as its historical presence on the campus once served as a hub for freshman life within the campus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The stomping ground where the freshman resided consisted of Reese and North Carrick that housed male students, while South Carrick and Hume housed female students. The courtyard in the center of the dorms served as a gathering space for freshmen to organically flock towards planned or spontaneous events. The multi-functional Presidential Court building was a place where students could eat within the dining hall, grab snacks from the convenience store, use the computer lab, and study in the meeting rooms.
Although Presidential Court once served as a vibrant community, with no entrances to the Presidential Court building on the east side, this precinct is ultimately separated spatially from the areas close by to the east, leading toward Hess Hall. In order to open up the site and create an overwhelming warmth of community and gathering, Presidential Court will be envisioned as a neighborhood of first-year students. This focus on first-year experience will ground students in the Volunteer experience and significantly impact their sense of belonging. The new construction will create a space for gateways for connections, compared to the existing Presidential Court hub which serves as a barrier. Our strategy for this precinct of campus is aimed at changing and enhancing the culture of student life by creating a networked space at the ground level, above, and below, that foregrounds social interactions and allows movement to flow not only strategically but naturally as well.