Test pilings were driven into the Zimple quad earlier this month, beginning the 18-month process that will transform the green space into Zimple House, the newest residential college at Tulane University, and bringing to fruition a century-old vision.
Zimple House, the newest residential college at Tulane University, will bring to fruition a century-old vision and provide an architectural anchor to campus on Broadway. (Illustration from Architecture Research Office)
“The idea of having a building that flanks Newcomb Hall across Newcomb lawn from Josephine Louise Hall dates back to 1912 and the original plan for the Newcomb campus,” says Collette Creppell, university architect and director of campus planning. “James Gamble Rogers, a famous university architect, designed the campus with the idea of a third piece of that composition with a building on the Zimple site.”
When completed, 256 students will call Zimple House home, and Creppell says they will enjoy the same types of features found in the university’s Wall and Weatherhead residential colleges.
“Zimple House will have a great livingroom with an adjoining special space and a demonstration kitchen,” Creppell says. “These rooms together are going to create an inviting gathering space for the students and will add to the sense of community within the house.”
Creppell says the Zimple House design will minimize impacts on the landscape surrounding the site. The live oaks on the quad and on McWilliams Walk will be carefully preserved, and the team of architects who designed the building took their cues from the adjacent historic buildings. She adds that Zimple Hall will add a “a very strong architectural anchor to campus on Broadway.”
While the modern aesthetic of the building will nod to its historic setting, the materials used will be forward-looking; the building is designed to meet and surpass the campus standard of silver level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
“It is tracking at a level of LEED gold,” Creppell says, “which means that there are many sustainable features that are being incorporated into the design of the building.”
The target completion date for the project is July 2014 and those interested can follow the building’s progress and find more information about the project on the Capital Projects website