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McMaster University – Les Prince Hall Residence

Overcoming tight budgets and tighter timelines

Hamilton, Ontario

No matter what age, the first day of school is always stressful. Tack on moving into a new area, and it’s crucial to have a strong support system. McMaster University’s new Les Prince Hall residence encourages this support through a design that breaks each of its six storeys into two neighbourhoods of 15 to 20 students in a mix of single and double occupancy rooms with private washrooms.

Social interaction and mixing among students and between neighbourhoods is encouraged through the centralization of commons areas such as a lounge and kitchen facilities within each wing. The idea of neighbourhood is further reinforced by the application of a distinct colour palette for each floor, highlighted in the interior detailing, carpeting, and furnishings.

Sited to the eastern edge of the residence zone of campus, students are treated to views and access to the adjacent wetland conservation area, Cootes Paradise, and its hiking paths, while the building’s sensitive landscape design protects and enhances the national historic site.

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