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Preliminary drawings for the eighth House have been approved by the Corporation, with final construction slated to begin sometime in the spring.
The new House will consist of a seven-story residence hall for students, faculty tutors, and visiting scholars, and a connected commons wing, containing a dining hall with a small stage, faculty and student common rooms, game rooms, music rooms, and a grill room.
Key to the design is an interlocking grid of student suites known as the elevator "skip-stop" plan. It has previously been used in some apartment houses, but it is a new idea in dormitory planning.
The plan (see diagram below) treats three floors as a unit. Student suites--typically four individual study-bedrooms and a common living room and bath--are so arranged that all living rooms are on the middle floor, with a solid floor of bedrooms above and below. From each living room, inside stairs lead up or down to the bedrooms of that suite. Only the middle floor--where the living rooms are--has a central corridor with access to elevators and main stairways.
The design is varied to allow for some single rooms and smaller and larger suites.
The plan has several advantages. It saves on space and cost by eliminating many corridors and entry-ways. (The House will be built for about half what it would cost to reproduce one of the seven original Houses.)
It also separates the study and sleeping rooms from the social room of the student group, so any student can study or sleep undisturbed, despite noise in the common living room.
The seven-story residence hall contains two of the three-floor "groupings." At ground level, below these six floors, will be faculty offices and apartments for resident faculty tutors. The Master's residence will be on the roof, with a ter- race for the adults at one end of the building, and a play area for children at the other end.
The House library, which will provide more than 10,000 books, will be a separate building, extending into the courtyard from the center of the residence hall.
At its northern end, the residence hall will connect with the two-story commons wing, along Mt. Auburn St. Here will be the junior and senior common rooms, the grill room, and a winding stairs leading the cafeteria line up to the dining hall.
For students who wish to dine together in small groups or with their faculty advisers, three small dining rooms will adjoin the main dining hall. Between meals, these will double as seminar rooms.
The eighth House will occupy the city block bounded by DeWolfe, Mill, Plympton, and Mt. Auburn streets
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