Catholic University of America - Father O'Connell Hall Renovation
A prominent landmark on the Catholic University of America’s campus, Father O’Connell Hall is a collegiate gothic-style building composed of two wings hosting a 1914 residence and dining hall, and a 1960s addition. Vacant and underutilized for years, the reinvigorated campus icon serves as an event space and is home to the University’s Admissions, Enrollment, and Student Services Departments.
The design encompasses the entire sequence of activities for visitors including perspective students and their families, and for students utilizing financial aid, advising, and enrollment services. From their initial impression, parking and traversing the campus, through being greeted and receiving admissions tours, a primary intention is to convey both the strong traditions of Catholic University and the vitality of its innovative academic programs and dynamic campus life.
The design embraces a campus precinct that is radically changing in character; a major new mixed-use residential development and a public-private partnership. Rather than simply deferring to the major campus space surrounding the adjacent Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the renovation defines a new precinct plan that accommodates new programmatic functions for admissions groups and events that will also serve as a significant new foreground to the entire campus.