University of Oklahoma
Norman · Oklahoma
After Oklahoma's the tornadic events of May 2013, President Boren gave a charge to protect students at the University of Oklahoma by building new storm shelters. Because of MA+ Architecture's experience designing and building storm shelters we were selected for this very important project. The design consisted of new storm shelters at 5 sites near the University's dormitories and apartments.
At the University's high rise dormitories a different concept was explored. MA+ Architecture was tasked to design storm shelters at Couch and Walker towers to protect over 1,700 students. This was accomplished by adding multi-purpose study lounges at the base of each tower, with a hardened covered breezeway between the new storm shelters and the existing towers. The breezeway allows students to be protected from rain and hail while traveling between the dormitory tower and the shelter.
At the University's apartment complexes, three similar shelters were built to house approximately 1,600 occupants. The buildings are dual use and can be used as an indoor space for various student activities and as storm shelters. The exteriors of these shelters were custom tailored to blend with the existing aesthetics of each apartment complex.