Last week took me to the University of Utah for the return of students to classes and the opening of Kahlert Village, a new residential complex conveniently located near the heart of the campus adjacent to the Huntsman Center. Parents and nervous new students unloaded their belongings and found their rooms, and I noticed a fair number of parents marveling that their dorms had looked nothing like Kahlert Village.
Pulling back and still looking at the main entry elevation, you can get a sense of the four wings expanding out from a central hub that house the four themed communities: the Gail Miller Community Engagement Tower; Heather Kahlert STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) community; the First-Year Honors Community; and the Patricia W. Child Health & Wellness Community. Okland Construction built Kahlert Village, and MHTN Architects designed it.
Looking at the village from the bike and pedestrian paths, two of the wings shelter a central courtyard where students eat their take-out meals on the shady grass. The dining facilities are on the ground floor to the right with the curving glass wall.
The dining area resembles a food court with the different options distinguished by design themes. Students can eat there or take food out with social distancing enforced.
The core of the village is an active central area with lounge area (the Fireside Chat is featured above), common work areas, tech tables, classroom set ups, a staffed front desk, music rooms, a Bennion Service Center and more.
This is the Adobe Creative Commons, located just off the lounge area where students can drop in for coaching on the Adobe apps and participate in presentations and trainings.
The students have a secure package pickup area, which makes sense for online shopping and boxes of cookies from home.
The meditation room is on the main floor in the Health and Wellness wing. There are two living walls, LED lights that I set to green, and a supply of mats and cushions.
Upstairs, each floor has a lounge and kitchen area. The ones I feature are in the STEM wing.
I photographed using available light and picked times when the areas were less occupied. I think some of the parents summed up the space pretty well when they said, “It makes me want to go back to school.”
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