Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Michael Carroll


In recent years, there has been a discernible deterioration in the mental well-being of college and university students, as evidenced by an increase in reported levels of anxiety, stress, and depression in these populations, as documented by the National College Health Assessment. This decline has been further exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has intensified feelings of isolation and disrupted traditional support systems. While conventional approaches to addressing these mental health challenges primarily involve counseling services, support groups, and student outreach initiatives, these strategies often overlook a fundamental aspect of students' overall well-being – the quality of their residential environment. This issue has become particularly salient as enrollment figures surge, placing universities under pressure to accommodate more students than their existing infrastructure can adequately house. To meet the growing demand for student housing, many institutions have resorted to suboptimal solutions, such as adding extra beds to existing units or repurposing communal spaces into additional residential units. This approach not only compromises students' privacy but also diminishes the availability of crucial social spaces essential for fostering a sense of community. Recent empirical investigations have unveiled a correlation between residing in close quarters and substandard housing conditions with heightened levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, in stark contrast to students benefiting from more comfortable accommodations. This research delves into the intricate interplay between the quality of one's living environment and their mental well-being, a topic extensively explored within private housing but not yet applied to the domain of student housing. Particularly, this study takes a phenomenological approach to rejuvenate student housing, focusing on the concerns articulated by students at the Kennesaw State University Marietta campus, including inadequate lighting conditions, a lack of privacy, and a lack of communal spaces within their residence halls. The primary focus of this investigation is to strike the right balance between fostering a sense of community and ensuring privacy within student housing. The proposed building contains crucial enhancements to dormitory life, including phenomenological interventions and ample community space. These improvements aim not only to resolve the Howell Hall quad, but also to revitalize the East Campus by bringing social spaces back , in efforts to enhance students' mental health and well-being.

Included in

Architecture Commons