The Lofts at Washington University in St. Louis

Architect: William Rawn Associates, Architects Inc.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Category: Specialized Housing (category four)

This unique type of residence hall explores ways of adapting residential life models of living and learning to an urban model.

This 280,000 sf mixed-use project (including retail and 415 beds in loft-style apartments) represents the University’s efforts to revitalize its surrounding neighborhood by locating student apartments in “the Loop” – an incredibly vibrant 24-hour urban district located six blocks from the University. A unique type of residence hall, the project explores ways of adapting residential life models of living and learning to an urban model. Student residences in transparent towers over ground floor retail immerse students in the urban life of the Loop. A new pedestrian mews, activated by student residences with stoops, connects The Loop with a residential neighborhood to the north.

The project visibly expresses its commitment to sustainable living and is LEED Platinum certified. Key elements include bioswales, rain gardens, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, sustainable building materials and high-efficiency glazing. A south-facing solar shading system is one of the key architectural focal points of the project.

"Appreciate that urban environment seen as asset to engage in rather than shut out."—Jury comment

Additional information

Associate Architect: Tao + Lee Associates (associate architect for project/design architect for retail grocery store)

Engineer (structural): LeMessurier Consultants

Structural peer: KPFF Consulting Engineers

Landscape architect: Stephen Stimson Associates

Associate landscape architect: James Fetterman Landscape Architects

Engineer (MEP/FP): Ross & Baruzzini Inc.

Engineer (civil): Cole

Lighting consultant Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Code consultant: R.W. Sullivan Engineering

Specifications writer: Kalin Associates

Interior architect: LAB [3.2] Architecture

Sustainable design consultant: Brooks Critchfield - Open Fields Design; Forum Studio

Engineer (geotechnical): Geotechnology Inc.

Acoustical: Acentech

Parking: Walker Parking Consultants

CM: Paric Corporation


Katherine Williams, AIA, (Chair) Fifth Generation Holdings, Falls Church, Virginia

Joe Digrado, AIA, Danielian Associates, Irvine, California

Blake Held, AIA, Blake H. Held Architect, PLLC, Honeoye Falls, New York

Charles Mudede, The Stranger (Journalist), Seattle, Washington

David Perkes, AIA, Mississippi State University GCCDS, Biloxi, Mississippi

Image credits


Tom Paule Photography


Sam Fentress


Tom Paule Photography


Tom Paule Photography


Sam Fentress