Residential Suites Receives Two National Design Awards

Residential Suites Receives Two National Design Awards
Cal Poly Pomona's Residential Suites recently received two national design awards.

Cal Poly Pomona's Residential Suites, the university's newest campus housing facilities that opened in Fall 2003, recently received two national design awards.

The Residential Suites earned a Merit Award in Residential Architecture Magazines' Sixth Annual Design Awards. The magazine established the design award program to honor the best in American housing. The award was announced at the yearly American Institute of Architects National Convention in May in Las Vegas.

Located next to the Kellogg Gymnasium, the Residential Suites is a $26.5 million project consisting of 111 units in two buildings, housing 410 students. Each suite includes a living room, kitchenette area, bedrooms, full-size bathrooms, additional storage space, private patios/balconies, and every room is equipped with high-speed Internet and satellite television. Each building is also equipped with a two-story general student classroom, which includes a private conference room and mezzanine. Sasaki Associates is the project architect.

The Sixth Annual Residential Architect awards received nearly 850 entries in 14 categories. There were only 27 merit awards, nine grand awards and one Project of the Year award given out.

For this award, university officials explained the challenge of implementing a student housing community into a decidedly non-residential precinct of campus  an area dominated by large-scale uses like Athletics and parking. Creating a sense of place that fosters the residential community was key to the projects success.

“While budget considerations prescribed two large buildings, the balconies, along with elements of transparency punched into the stucco, add layers of texture to make the project seem richer than the sum of its parts,” said John Coons of Residential Architecture Magazine.

The jury  comprised of six distinguished architects  concurred, complimenting the “beautifully proportioned spaces” that make a “strong statement.” The jury also acknowledged the architects' thoughtful integration of the buildings with the landscape. “The strategy was to define neighborhood outdoor spaces that would be owned by the community,” said Coons.

The suites also received an Award of Merit for Best Mid-Rise Apartment Project at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2005 Gold Nugget Competition. The 206 winners emerged from 651 entries into the competition this year. For a complete list of winners, visit

“These awards are a wonderful affirmation of the Residential Suites project team and the contribution this new community has made to the student experience at Cal Poly Pomona,” said Doug Freer, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “I am thrilled that the suites remain so popular with students, and we're looking forward to starting design on the second phase next year.”

Plans for the future include the addition of two more Residential Suites buildings. With the success of the first two, the university is planning to duplicate some of the same amenities in phase two.