Meeting new people and creating lasting friendships; learning how to live on your own for the first time; waking up early to catch the best surf—these are the moments that make living on campus at San Diego State University such a memorable experience. And for those students living in the newly renovated Zura Hall, their freshman dorm life will be an enriching, surf-inspired, connected community experience.

Originally built in 1968, Zura Hall lacked community spaces for students and the three bedroom wings were disconnected. Using the CSU system’s Collaborative Design-Build process, our team was able to complete the project with an accelerated schedule for the September 2015 grand opening and succeed in creating a sustainable, connected community that embodies the surf culture of SDSU. We enclosed the existing core around the elevators to create interior study rooms and lounge areas, and also to help connect all of Zura Hall’s wings with each other. The first floor now features a TV lounge, community kitchen with large communal table, rec room and a flexible study room that can be used as a classroom. All these spaces open up to adjacent outdoor space with fire pits and a resort-like vibe. SDSU’s surf culture shines through with a large mural by surf artist Andy Davis in the front entry as well as custom, recycled surfboards made by local surfboard shapers on display on each floor.

Collaborative Design Partners: HMC Architects and Mahlum Architects