projects | higher education

Ayres Hall, Sewanee: The University of the South

New Residence Hall for a Historic Campus

The new LEED Silver certified residence hall stands on the former location of Van Ness Hall on the edge of Alabama Ave. on Sewanee’s iconic campus. Much care was given to incorporate Sewanee’s rich history—the first floor common room fireplace is built from stones repurposed from the Van Ness exterior. 

Ayres is home to 114 students living in double and single rooms. Each wing has two hall baths and each floor has one single-use bath. The closets, built in the wall, are without doors, avoiding wear and tear. Common rooms have been incorporated into the first and third floors, creating living rooms and den-like spaces with comfortable and flexible seating. The third floor common room is equipped with cable television and a large projector screen for movie nights. While the large-space format is capable of accommodating a large group, often students equally love the small-spaces that can easily be created within the large space. 

The residence hall kitchen, furnished with stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, and sink, is located on the first floor. A grill is located on the back patio for students. There is a study room on each wing of each floor. Laundry machines and indoor bike storage are located on the first floor while a covered bike shed is just outside the building. Students enjoy mountain temperatures much of the year taking advantage of the many porches equipped with rocking chairs. 

Sewanee: The University of the South was recently listed as USA Today’s #3 “Best Beautiful College Campus” in 2016, and with good reason. The university appears on such lists at least once a year. The iconic Gothic architecture, recognizable sandstone facades, and impressive blend between built and natural landscapes continues to set Sewanee apart. 

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