Jorge Bergoglio Residence Hall at Sacred Heart University

Centerbrook Architects & Planners were engaged by Sacred Heart University to design the Jorge Bergoglio Residence Hall located in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Sacred Heart University’s new residence hall welcomes and encourages its residents by creating communities within communities so that students of every sort can find a place of their own. Its modern design is at once striking and warm, a home away from home.

The Fairfield, Connecticut, campus’s 216-bed, 87,000-square-foot residence hall is named after Pope Francis, born Jorge Bergoglio. It is broken into “villages” consisting of small groupings of four-bed suites that share a neighborhood lounge and kitchen along with other amenities.

Students can gather in their local small lounges or in a dorm-wide commons on the first floor adjoining the building entries. This three-story space is paneled with maple and highlighted by a 12-foot-wide bluestone fireplace. The commons abuts a 1,400-square-foot fitness center, a state-of-the-art gaming room, and multi-purpose meeting and social rooms.

Two residential wings spread southward from the main entrances and public space to form a protected outdoor courtyard. At the end of each residential wing is a glass stair tower that faces toward the main campus to frame the space in light at night. A long glass-canopied porch entry at the opposite end also offers a warm glow and promises shelter in all weather. The courtyard’s lawn gently slopes southward, surrounded by gardens and bioswales, to make a warm sunny place even in winter.

The building’s exterior continues the palette of the new College of Business across Jefferson Street. Both buildings use copper and iron-spot brick to bring a strong, common identity to the campus at its northern entrance. The glassy front displays the warmth and activity within, illustrating that the University is a friendly and exciting place.

ArchitectCenterbrook Architects & Planners
ContractorShawmut Design and Construction
Photography: Peter Aaron