Merit - SCUP Excellence in Architecture for a New Building

Georgetown University

Georgetown University Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Hall
Georgetown University - Georgetown University Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Hall
Jury Comments
“. . . student revolution regarding previous design . . . activation of ground level next to walkway is strong programmatic element . . . shows how public space works . . .”


    • Site – 3 acres; Building – 85,000 gsf
    • Pending LEED Gold
    • 3,185 sf green roof
    • The project preserves the majority of mature trees.
    • The project creates a public space and a student life connection in the northeast quadrant in the form of a plaza with direct visual and physical links to the new hall and the campus center.
    • Shared living and learning programmable space is visible on the transparent and flexible ground floor, adjacent to the new pedestrian spine.
    • Over 11,000 sq ft of pervious plazas slow runoff rates and provide critical stormwater storage.
    • Nearly 2,500 sq ft of native biocells along the perimeter improve quality of water runoff.


The new Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Hall broadens Georgetown’s housing options by providing much-needed on-campus space for upper-class students in desirable unit types. One of the most significant challenges of the project was the identification of suitable sites for new construction that would make good use of the university’s land resources. The selected site was underutilized and challenging, offering a limited triangular footprint and difficult below-grade utility conditions as well as dramatic grade changes. However, the team successfully realized a residential tower that is both contextually sensitive and forward-looking with an integrated and highly sustainable landscape, including a 10,000-gallon cistern and multiple bioretention wells.

The selected site makes use of a transitional area that, while small in footprint, allowed for higher density given the scale of surrounding buildings (up to 8 floors) and the opportunity to use land that otherwise would not be suitable for other building types. Arrupe Hall provides open and flexible spaces at the first floor that allow for multiple use with comfort. Porous indoor/outdoor environments along the new plaza and pedestrian way ensure that the inner life of the living & learning unit is visible to the broader campus and inviting to the student community. The first floor living & learning hub is a direct recognition that learning happens throughout campus, at all hours. It’s envisioned as a hub for residential, academic, and student life activities. It is a new model for engagement and learning spaces, one that can evolve and influence the design of future initiatives.

Project Team

Sasaki Associates, Inc. and StudioMB (McGraw Bagnoli Architects); also Gilbane Building Company; SK+A; Girard; Dewberry; HLB Lighting Design Inc.; ACS Consulting; Heller & Metzger