UW-Madison Elizabeth Waters Renovation

State of Wisconsin

Situated on the shores of Lake Mendota, the historic 1940s Elizabeth Waters Residence Hall was designed as five separate units built on three different elevations. The outdoor terrace and stairways enable students to meander throughout the grounds that cascade down toward the lake. In the years leading up to when Somerville was hired, the building was hampered by mechanical failures and little flexibility in the design of the building.  Somerville’s team renovated the 140,000+ SF building to improve efficiency and aesthetics all while maintaining the historic context. 

The dining hall and kitchen were completely renovated to streamline use and increase usability. The traditional serving lines were replaced with a marketplace operation. Kitchen facilities were consolidated to one level and the dining areas completely reworked with new HVAC and electrical systems to support the new marketplace and kitchen. The outdoor terrace adjacent to the dining facility was renovated to take advantage of the scenic views along with increasing accessibility. The remainder of the building’s public spaces and resident rooms received new finishes. The building’s heating system was replaced with hot water heating and individual temperature controls and air conditioning in common areas.   




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Facility Highlights

  • New mechanical systems
  • Marketplace dining
  • Outdoor terrace
  • New finishes including lighting, doors, hardware, carpeting and paint
  • ADA accessibility