The Collegiate Way: Residential Colleges & the Renewal of University Life  ‹›


Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Sizes and Measurements of College Common Rooms

— The Collegiate Way’s page on residential college buildings and grounds describes the elements of the physical environment—from game rooms to garden beds—that are needed to support residential college life. These accounts are largely narrative, but in working with architects and planners it is often helpful to be able to attach hard numbers to discursive descriptions. I have therefore begun to add brief specification summaries to many of the sections of the buildings and grounds page, and I hope these will be useful to many readers. All are based on a college size of roughly 400, which is close to ideal. You can browse these specifications by scanning down the buildings and grounds page. As an example, the summary specification for a College Office reads as follows:

A residential college office should be a lockable first floor space of about 600 square feet in a high traffic area near the entrance to the college, furnished with semi-enclosed secretarial space, a comfortable seating circle, a study table, windows overlooking the college entrance or courtyard, doorways to adjacent private offices, a very large walk-in storage closet, and (as usual) picture moldings all around.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021