University of Cincinnati Calhoun Hall Renovation

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

Calhoun Hall was constructed in the southwest quadrant of the University of Cincinnati in 1968 to provide housing for 860 students. The building is a 14-story concrete frame structure, built originally with a glass and metal curtain wall facade.

The original building contained limited opportunities for students to gather outside their dorm rooms and corridors were dark and narrow. Access in and around the dorm was challenging due to multiple level changes and connections to the campus were complicated.

The goals of the project were:
• To enhance the connection to the campus and create a gateway.
• To create a strong live/learn community.
• To re-clad the building to transform the appearance and improve performance.

To connect Calhoun to the campus and surrounding community, a series of stairs, ramps, and elevators were strategically placed along the major connecting spine. New landscape terraces replaced large retaining walls opening views into the campus.

A 12,000-sf community gathering addition was constructed on the north side of the existing dorm providing more controlled secure access as well as much needed program spaces for socialization, study and major dorm gathering events.

Re-cladding the building was challenging due to limited area available around the building and limited access caused by the elevation changes of the site. Early in the re-cladding process, a Mega-panel wall cladding system was proposed. Panels were designed to be one story tall and one structural bay long, (10’ x 24’). The panels were fabricated off-site and arrived with all windows, (fixed and operable), exterior finish, insulation, and vapor barriers ready for final finish. Each panel was placed into position using a crew of five. Seven panels a day were placed and the total time to clad the building and create a climate-controlled environment was less than 2 months. Construction debris on site was limited to the protective plastic covering the panels.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

January, 2023