Student Housing Master Plan

Cornell University

Location Ithaca, New York

Design Collective and U3 Advisors completed a 30-year Housing Master Plan in 2016. Student housing demand by class, type, and location was quantified through surveys, focus group meetings, and workshops. Town of Ithaca goals included improving the quality of off-campus housing, identifying optimal locations for housing, and providing affordable housing. The nine-month planning process engaged multiple stakeholders, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and officials from the City and Town of Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Cornell University currently houses less than half of its undergraduates and ten percent of its graduate and professional students on campus; more than fifty percent of students live off campus. Additionally, there are housing configurations that do not necessarily accommodate desired academic, developmental, social, and programmatic student needs. As a consequence, many students live off-campus in Collegetown and Ithaca, resulting in high rents, safety concerns because of dilapidated and sometimes unsafe living conditions, town-gown issues, transportation challenges, and quality-of-life concerns for students.

The Student Housing Master Plan suggests 1,650 – 2150 new beds, both on campus and off campus, to include a variety of housing types specifically designed to meet particular class needs. The master plan, upon full build out, will enable 100% of first-years to live on campus, 100% of sophomores to live in on-campus residence halls or off-campus Cornell-sponsored co-ops and Greek housing, and for approximately 50% of upper class students to live on campus. North campus is planned to move away from a "first-year experience only" to be a more integrated, village-like experience that will include retail, restaurants, services, new dining, a new health and wellness center, and classroom and amenity spaces within the residence halls. Off campus housing is targeted largely for upper class, graduate, and professional students in community-oriented apartment-style housing in Collegetown and Ithaca.

Back to Portfolio

Project Details

Project Type



Example searches: LEED, interiors, "Design Collective", etc.