Michigan State University


Owen Hall Renovation

East Lansing, Michigan

60,000 GSF, 5,574 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design, Programming

Award of Merit, Illumination Awards, Best Use of Architectural Materials, Honor Award -- Interior Architecture

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“SmithGroupJJR was a pleasure to work with on the Owen Hall project. They incorporated the Strategic Plan from the University, fully collaborated with MSU, and developed a respectful, yet lively design.”

—Greg W. Houghtaling, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Architect, MSU


A look at Owen Hall today reveals a modern, even hip residential facility that blends new amenities with visually appealing interiors.

Yet behind this transformative refurbishment of the 1960s Michigan State facility was a methodical student research program led by SmithGroupJJR and based on focus groups, web surveys and design presentations to the campus community. The analysis revealed the special needs of professional students whose academic facilities are nearby.

The data points put a finer edge on key design elements, yielding a cost-effective, high-impact renovation that met university objectives and reenergized the study-oriented atmosphere with new social and community spaces. Secondary goals included upgrades to the foodservice experience and improved student safety, so dining areas were revamped as emporium-style venues, a coffee shop, and gathering areas. Study rooms boast novel technologies that support campus living-learning goals.

One campus highlight is revealed in Owen Hall’s lower level: a game room with user-controlled lighting, socializing areas, and a community kitchen.

Related Content

BD+C Magazine Features Owen Hall
Check out this $9 million makeover with a “Wow!” factor.

SmithGroupJJR Transforms Owen Hall
Check out how Owen Hall went from drab to fab with its latest renovations.

Transforming the Student Experience
Michigan State University Students talk about why they chose Owen Hall.