A Momentous First Year - Southwestern's Residences at 7th Earn Accolades from Residents and Recognition for Design and Sustainability
By the conclusion of the first academic year of use, it was clear that The Residences at 7th, Southwestern's new on-campus student residential complex, had fulfilled the goal of transforming the campus into a real living-learning village. Since The Residences opened in August, the students who have made their homes there, as well as other members of the Southwestern community, have enjoyed the spacious and inviting facilities that enhance the campus experience on both a practical and aesthetic level.
An Urban Oasis
In describing what it is like to live on campus, resident Nicole Christman echoed the sentiments of several of her neighbors. "What I like best about my studio is that it feels like my space, sort of my little sanctuary," she said. "It's far enough away from my classes, but close enough that everything is still convenient, and I can get all my studying done."
Residents appreciate the upscale design elements and amenities, such as the "super high ceilings," floor-to-ceiling windows, granite counter tops, energy-efficient appliances, in-unit washer-dryer and high definition TV. According to Darren Reid, "You don't feel cramped. You have a lot of space, as the apartments are actually quite large."
Adam Ainslie added, "It's very nice to be in an apartment complex where you're living with other students who are going through the same things you are, with classes and studying. It's very easy to make friends, and when you do have downtime, to have people to hang out with. You can form really good bonds with the people you live with here."
The lack of a commute is also a major factor in enhancing the quality of life for students living on campus. "I think it is a big benefit that we don't have to be stuck in traffic. We can get up ten minutes before class, roll out of bed - literally! - and get to class on time," Genovpetry Calderon explained. "I can come home for lunch, and my classes and the gym are right across the lawn. It's all really convenient."
Environmental Excellence Awards
In addition to the accolades from residents and visitors, the project has been recognized for distinction in sustainability and architectural design. At the 2014 Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council in June, Southwestern received the L.A. County Sustainability Award in recognition of The Residences' design excellence and community impact. Back in December 2013, the complex earned LEED certification at the Platinum Level from the U.S. Green Building Council.
In designing The Residences, Corsini+Stark Architects focused on incorporating inviting social spaces and maximizing open-air breezeways and courtyards throughout the complex. "Wide hallways, open to cooling breezes and punctuated by daylight, seating and framed views, encourage social interaction," Richard Corsini points out. "The visual openness also symbolically conveys a positive message to the community."
A Popular Choice
The robust rate of renewals and keen interest from entering students resulted in full occupancy and a waiting list for the 2014-15 academic year by the end of May.
Property manager Michelle Tafoya works closely with students and coordinates a variety of events and activities for residents - from barbecues in the courtyard to World Cup Soccer playoff watching parties in the Pearl Lounge. "It's wonderful to see how much the students are enjoying living here, and that they take full advantage of the complex's amenities - the barbecue center and the sun deck are particularly popular - and the camaraderie that naturally develops in this environment. We are very pleased to see the facilities fulfilling the goals that were behind all of this."