hMa in collaboration with Cannon Design
Pratt Student Residence Hall : Void Tower
location: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
client: Pratt Institute
size: 73,000 s.f.
date: expected completion 2017
contact: hMa hanrahanMeyers architects

This new residence hall is designed to foster a culture of exploration and invention in its incoming first year cohort through its purposeful blending of shared and public living, learning, and making spaces. The disruption of a normative housing typology is manifested around a vertical courtyard or ‘void tower’. This distinctive exterior expression centers student community activity on each floor. The void tower is both an organizational concept for the building as well as a distinctive form that is configured in elevation to expand the dimensions of the openings to the lounges at the upper floors of the building and compress around a skylight centered over the ground floor lounge.

The building is located approximately one block from the main campus gate, embedded within the Clinton Hill neighborhood. The main floors are set back from the street with the entrance through a one-story podium. Within this podium students can use the central event space for social or study activities as well as the adjacent maker space which includes studio resources. Upper floors of the tower are composed of 14 rooms for two students each. Shared, compartmentalized bathrooms are distributed throughout the floor. The central lounge on each floor has a work counter and furniture for community use. The tower exterior is composed primarily of brick with curved stainless steel panels. These materials are intended to actively engage the historic brick campus and neighborhood while setting apart the distinctive forms of the courtyard and lounge spaces.

Designed as an innovative collaboration between two architecture firms and the Institute, this project presents important opportunities for the social and intellectual development of the students and promotes a culture of invention and collaboration critical to Pratt’s academic and societal mission.