Architectural Record – 2125 Franklin Student Housing

Architectural Record

November 3, 2017

When American Campus Communities asked KTGY to design a mixed-use student housing building, they wanted it to be high-performing, multi-purpose, and built with wood instead of concrete as a way to save on cost. Located just blocks away from the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, the location presented a unique challenge. To the south lies a hotel, to the north a significant slope constrained by the Willamette River.

The resulting five-story building, 2125 Franklin, offers 192 four-bedroom, four-bath units, providing a total of 735 bedrooms. The building is shaped like a barbell and wraps around the hotel. The first floor houses the building’s leasing office, a parking garage, fitness area, small café, amenity and study rooms, and 2,500 square feet of retail space.

KTGY drew inspiration from the aesthetics of architecture in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. “We wanted to tap into the Pacific Northwest and celebrate the beauty of the outdoors through the use of wood. We also wanted to show how the building relates to the discourse of the architecture in the Pacific Northwest,” says Benjamin Kasdan, AIA, LEED AP, and senior designer for KTGY.

To help achieve the desired aesthetics, the leasing office and retail space entryways feature exposed 12-by-12-inch glulam posts supplied by APA member-manufacturer Calvert Company. Glulam beams also appear outside of the entryway that leads from the café and fitness area to the outdoor pool. The exterior glulams were treated with a wood stain and sealer instead of paint to showcase the wood grain.

The building was fully sheathed with OSB for walls and interior floors. This contributed to the structure’s ability to handle uplift loads, lateral loads, and wind pressures. At five stories, the 2125 Franklin is the maximum height currently allowed under the International Building Code for wood-frame construction.

“An all-wood building of this size is a big deal since we have to stay within code while still meeting the demands for a large housing building,” says Kasdan. Other wood products used include open web wood roof trusses, open web wood floor trusses, plywood sheathing for exterior private balcony flooring, and subfloor.

Read more about the project in APA Case Study: 2125 Franklin Student Housing, Form S115.