Kripper Studio to Design Improvements for Northeastern University Student Residences and Classrooms

Amir Kripper

BOSTON–Northeastern University has engaged Kripper Studio to design several improvements for West Village G. Student residences, shared amenity spaces, classrooms, the main entrance, and other access points will be addressed for a comprehensive refresh of the building.

Work will commence at the conclusion of the current semester and continue with a greatly accelerated timeframe. Kripper Studio’s anticipated completion of the design work and re-occupancy for the student residence is late summer 2023 to accommodate the incoming students for the beginning of the fall semester.

This existing West Campus residence hall is a six-story apartment-style building that includes residences and also houses classrooms with tiered seating. The building is located at 450 Parker Street, set between West Village H, Willis Hall, and West Village B.

The current scope of work calls for Kripper Studio to upgrade, enhance and re-imagine the 109,000 sqft of usable space within the building.  The intention is to enhance the quality of the students’ experience and nurture a sense of community. One example involves re-imagining the possibilities inherent in the existing very long hallways on each floor with potential reading nooks that were not there before as each hallway is bookended by large windows.  In addition, achieving better energy efficiency for the building and incorporating new security features following the University’s standards are primary intentions.

Adhering to his belief that the most sustainable building can be an existing building, architect Amir Kripper will lead a design team that will consider how to enhance the existing structure and interiors.  In addition to selecting energy saving appliances for the kitchens and energy saving LED lighting options for the approximate 1,180 light fixtures throughout the building there will be a selection of durable and low VOC floor options throughout and an upgrade of A/V capabilities for the classrooms. An upgrade of the IT infrastructure will achieve a truly untethered study-life existence which students expect.  A “study anywhere” goal will support collaborative and independent work whether in the classroom or the privacy of a nook.

“This is an opportunity to do something cool and interesting as the students’ standards and expectations have changed and Northeastern is committed to raising the bar,” explains Amir Kripper, founding principal of Kripper Studio.  “Study habits, campus residence life and study-life balance have evolved and the importance of the surrounding built environment can truly contribute to and support inclusivity, health and well being.”  Examples include new signage, including brail, a new paint color scheme and an extensive cleaning of all ducts and exhaust grills.

The original design of West Village by William Rawn Associations was immediately lauded with awards and accolades.  Building A, as well as Buildings B and C, which opened in the fall 2000, won multiple architectural honors, including the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Award for Design in 2001 and the Honor Award in 2002. In 2021, the buildings were again honored by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and given the Honor Award for Architecture.

West Village E opened in 2002 and Buildings G and H followed two years later in September 2004. The BSA awarded the Harleston Parker Medal to Building H in 2005, which also became home to the College of Computer and Informational Science. That same year, the entire West Village master plan was awarded the AIA National Award in Regional and Urban Design.