Student dormitories? Not what you think…
If in the not-too-distant past, student dormitories were considered a real-estate disaster in general, and specifically an acoustic hazard - this trend has been reversed. Today we understand that student dormitories can in fact be a treasure - both for the vibrant city life and for a real-estate project that yields handsome returns.
The planning teams of Israel's large cities have realized that students are catalysts for community growth. Student dormitories attract young people who will soon become part of the academic community. This is a colorful population that relies on bicycles and public transportation and does not create traffic congestion – quite the opposite. Like mushrooms emerging after rain, bars and restaurants will sprout near dorms and nightlife will develop, followed by employment centers.
Many students, who reside in the dormitories between a few years and up to a decade, will choose to establish their young families in that same city and thus renew older neighborhoods. From the standpoint of real-estate, the projects (when properly planned) are characterized by full occupancy and yielding high returns. In a direct and monovalent manner, student dormitories strengthen the neighborhood and community and raise the value of its real-estate.
Student dormitories and the New York University Academic Center (NYU) in Tel Aviv
New York University (NYU) has established a branch in Israel, similar to its other branches in major cities around the world. The Tel Aviv branch includes three student dormitories (about 90 beds) and an independent academic center located in a nearby building.
The chosen site belongs to the Association of Youth Hostels and is run in synergy with the nearby youth hostel. The project was based on upgrading three old buildings while adding one floor, reinforcing the skeleton and adapting to modern safety and accessibility standards. The three buildings were united into one design language and created a mini-campus on Bnei Dan street in Tel Aviv, opposite to the southern bank of the Yarkon river.
The ideal location of the campus in the center of Tel Aviv calls for a design that echoes the spirit of the White City from every corner and offers an additional experience by creating meeting and leisure spaces in the shared common areas.
The academic center, which includes classrooms, faculty offices and public areas, was designed next to the dormitory buildings. The line of design is characterized by rich colors versus black and white contrast, and the use of natural materials that create a dignified and neat effect.
Conceptual competition for planning student dormitories for the Technion in Haifa
The proposal presents an alternative to the typical residential concept and proposes a model for community life in a vertical structure that assembles housing units around a common public space that suits the student lifestyle. The concept will be actualized by building a reinforced concrete structure, which is simple and fast to execute, is economical and noticeably present, that will serve as a platform for building residential units and creating public spaces interconnecting them.
The reinforced concrete construction enables the creation of eight floors with a double space (double-slab), which combine independent housing units composed of light elements, on two levels and of varying widths, that create bright and airy spaces. The colorful housing units' modules create interest, variety and vitality, yet the ability to distinguish between the different units.
The laying of the units in the concrete frame space creates a "vertical city" in which the spaces of the buildings between the units function as random, flexible "urban spaces" that simulate streets and "piazzas" in which spontaneous activity of daily life takes place.
The roof of the building is open to all as a public area overlooking the spectacular view of Haifa Bay.