Tooker House was envisioned as a living/learning community for freshmen students in the Fulton School of Engineering and includes design elements created to further their social growth and development. It replaced an existing housing structure located at the terminus of the campus’s historic Palm Walk and fronting the Beach, one of the major green gathering spaces on campus. The project was envisioned as a means to extend the learning environment beyond classrooms/labs and into a way of life.
Connecting to and enhancing the civic nature of the site became a major driver for the planning, massing, and design of the project. In addition, the site lays between the main campus, Sun Devil Stadium, and Wells Fargo Arena, so the designers were challenged to develop a design that would allow for crowds to permeate the building on game days. The design responds by undercutting the expansive southern façade, allowing pedestrians to intuitively flow under and through the building. This path is activated through a transparent and animated ground floor program including the main housing entry and lobby, maker lab and flexible classroom, fitness center, convenience store, and a 545-seat dining facility that serves the surrounding residential district. This hollowed center of the building mass is a shaded complement to the Beach, offering respite from the desert sun, as well as creating an inviting gathering space for students.
With amenities, such as classrooms, makerspaces, study areas and technology-enabled features it is truly a residence hall built for engineers.
Ed Soltero, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Assistant Vice-President and University Architect, Arizona State University
Solomon Cordwell Buenz; also Okland Construction; PK Associates; GLHN Architects & Engineers; HDR; Trueform; Sixthriver Architects; Jenkins & Huntington, Inc.; PlanNet Consulting