INTRODUCTION

Pomona College is a private liberal arts college located within a desert landscape in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Claremont, California, and has a student body of approximately 1,500 students. Founded in 1887 and envisioned as “a college of the New England type” on the West Coast, the school was designed as an intimate “college in the garden” around the principles of community, conviviality, and collaboration in an effort to have students form close relationships with both faculty and each other. Even the non-academic spaces on campus, like the student dining halls and outdoor courtyards, promote opportunities for interaction between faculty and students, and the overall impression of the campus is one of a small tight-knit community united by a desire to learn and grow. As a residential campus, the school is committed to providing housing for all students, but to do so the College needed to increase its bed count by approximately 10 percent. To further complicate the issue, despite everyone being required to participate in the school meal plan, upper-class students were opting to move off campus in greater numbers each year due to the lack of student housing options that allowed for more independent apartment-style living arrangements—they felt the existing housing was too “dorm-like”. As a result, in 2007 the College commissioned Ehrlich Architects to design a new residence hall that would house approximately 150 upper-class students in suite-style rooms containing 3, 4, or 6 individual bedrooms, a shared living room, and private bathing facilities.

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Author notes

1

AIA, LEED AP, Associate, Ehrlich Architects, www.ehrlicharchitects.com.