University of Missouri

KWK Architects Designs Multi-Phase Community Replacement Project at University of Missouri, Columbia


Master plan includes five new residence halls and a multi-restaurant dining facility

The University of Missouri (Mizzou) in Columbia, MO is bustling with two new residence halls; a state-of-the-art, multi-restaurant dining facility; and a Starbucks coffeehouse – all designed by KWK Architects as part of a multi-phase community redevelopment project.

KWK Architects, experts in student housing and dining design, was selected by the university to create a master plan for its Dobbs Neighborhood Redevelopment. The three-phased, master plan would include a total of five new residence halls and a distinctive dining facility to replace an outdated dining hall and three residential towers, all of which were demolished to make room for the new buildings.

“The goal of the master plan was to design a supporting community development at multiple levels primarily for first-year residents, create state-of-the-art dining for 2,500 plus residents in the area and create exterior, residential-friendly outdoor spaces, while defining circulation and service areas,” said KWK Architects Principal Sara Koester.

Phase I of the master plan included two new residence halls, Brooks and Bluford Halls, and a 580-seat dining facility. Brooks Hall, named after the university’s first African American administrator George C. Brooks, opened in fall 2016. The five-story, 89,400-square-foot residence hall houses 293 students. A computer center serving the complex is located on the building’s main floor.

The five-story Bluford Hall, opened for the 2017-2018 school year, is named after the late journalist and honorary doctoral degree recipient Lucile Bluford, and houses 282 students in 80,100 square feet. The building includes the new 29,600-square-foot dining facility, The Restaurants at Southwest, which occupies the majority of the first floor and replaces the outdated dining pavilion.

“The exterior character of the new residence halls acknowledges and complements the existing adjacent buildings and exterior environment,” said KWK Architects Principal Paul Wuennenberg. “Sustainable design was a major focus of the project, and the buildings are anticipated to achieve a LEED Silver designation. Solar panels on the Brooks Hall roof pre-heat the domestic water to reduce energy use. Additionally, the roof over the dining in Bluford Hall was designed for a future vegetated-tray green roof.”

The Restaurants at Southwest features six distinct dining venues that support a la carte service during the academic year and all-you-care-to-eat dining during the summer. Dining options at The Restaurants at Southwest include: Legacy Grill, Tiger Avenue Deli, Olive & Oil, 1+5+3 Soups & Salads, 1839 Kitchen, and Truffles. The facility handles the student population of 2,500 to 3,000 who live in the residence halls and nearby fraternities and sororities. The dining facility serves as the social hub of the neighborhood, anchoring the main pedestrian walkway to the academic campus, with the Starbucks store conveniently located along this promenade.

KWK has also completed designs for Phase II of the Dobbs Neighborhood Redevelopment, which includes a third and fourth residence hall, each with five-stories for a total of 120,991 square feet. When completed, the new halls will provide 384 beds and an Academic Resource Center.

KWK Architects partnered with The Lawrence Group as associate architect for the Dobbs project.

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 150 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. For more information about KWK Architects, visit or contact Director of Marketing Cindy Hausler at

Tarlton Corp. Completes New Softball Stadium at University of Missouri


Tarlton Corp., a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, completed construction on a new softball stadium for the Missouri Tigers softball team at University of Missouri, in Columbia.

To celebrate its new home and usher in the spring softball season, the team hosted the 2017 Mizzou Tournament on March 3, 4 and 5, welcoming top talent from around the country at the new stadium. Situated in the Mizzou Sports Park, the facility is east of Hearnes Center and visible from Stadium Boulevard. It replaces University Field.

Tarlton, which served as construction manager for the $17.5 million project financed primarily by private gifts, also provided preconstruction services. The team constructed the 20,000-square-foot facility on what was a commuter parking lot, redeveloping and transforming the space into the new softball stadium that provides fans with a full-view concourse, outfield plaza and new surface parking lot with more than 500 spaces. Work was completed March 2 and began March 1, 2016, following construction of a separate, nearby university parking lot.

The structural steel-framed building stands on a concrete foundation with a concrete slab and metal deck and aluminum grandstands. It includes a press box, concessions, heated dugouts, a locker room with video capabilities and meeting room for coaches. The venue also features lawn seating on a berm beyond the outfield wall for additional spectators.

Safety during construction was paramount, according to Cameron Denison, Tarlton senior project manager, and the project logged no recordable safety incidents. “The team demonstrated a high level of commitment to project safety, as the construction site was situated in the middle of the parking area used for home basketball and football games,” Denison said. “We worked closely with the university’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to secure the site and ensure safety for pedestrians and motorists attending other sporting events.”

In addition to Denison, the Tarlton team also included Matt Pfund, project executive; John Doerr, project director; Garett Plotts, P.E., senior project engineer; and Chad Hartman, project superintendent. Lempka Edson Architects in Overland Park, Kan., was project architect.

The softball stadium is Tarlton’s second project on the Columbia campus. The firm recently completed an expansion and renovations to Lafferre Hall, home of the university’s College of Engineering.

In business since 1946, Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that completes projects for wide-ranging clients in the commercial, life sciences, health care, institutional, power and industrial markets, also providing special expertise in concrete construction and restoration as well as hydro excavation and industrial vacuum services.