CLIENT: Stanford University
    LOCATION: Campus Drive, Stanford, California
    SIZE: Branner Hall: 75,000 Square Feet, Toyon Hall: 63,000 Square Feet
    COST: $30,000,000


    Stanford University's stunning historic student residences—Toyon and Branner Halls—were both in need of a significant overhaul. Built in the early 1920's and designed by the prominent San Francisco architectural firm, Bakewell and Brown, the dormitories needed major seismic upgrades; disabled-access improvements; fire sprinklers; and new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The most difficult challenge of the combined project was the accelerated schedule, due to the university's need to minimize dorm closures during the academic year. On Toyon, this meant much of the work had to be substantially completed in twelve weeks during the summer months, while Branner had a slightly less frantic schedule.

    CAW was able to meet the aggressive schedule set by the university, renovating both buildings without displacing hundreds of students—a significant project cost savings. The renovations that significantly improved the life-safety of the student occupants also carefully restored the buildings' key architectural qualities.


    • CAW integrated code upgrades in ways that resurrected the buildings' key historic characteristics. Example: Re-introducing original design features such as open stairways and glass transoms in corridors enabled natural light and ventilation to filter once again throughout the interiors.
    • Existing building drawings revealed a chase below the floors which the architects used to route new electrical, mechanical, sprinkler, and plumbing systems throughout the building, with minimal impact to its historic ceilings below.
    • Disabled student access was improved with the addition of elevators, bathrooms, and sleeping rooms. Improvements were cleverly integrated into the historic fabric without destroying key features of the building.
    • CAW met the aggressive timeline by having a full-time crew working closely with the owner, contractor, and building officials on site in order to accelerate decision-making during construction.
    • Multiple new dining opportunities were created for students by renovating Branner's original dining hall, reconfiguring a courtyard for outdoor eating, and transforming a back-of-the-house kitchen area into an open food servery.


    STRUCTURAL: Rutherford and Chekene, www.ruthchek.com
    LANDSCAPE: SWA Group, www.swagroup.com
    CONTRACTOR: Toyon Hall — Vance Brown Builders, www.vancebrown.com, Branner Hall — Webcor, www.webcor.com