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Burton trio imagines "Harry Potter" residence

May 16, 2007 at 4:17 pm
By Marla Holt

Vivyan Tran ’10, Julia Bradley ’10, and Amanda Hund ’10 live in Burton 131, prime real estate just inside the door linking the residence hall to Sayles-Hill Campus Center. While they have some of the usual complaints about dorm living (thin walls, poor lighting, ugly brown carpet), they say their room is where “everyone comes to hang out” and they believe dorm-floor life is vibrant at Carleton. Recently they spent some time dreaming about the perfect student residence, or what they call “the Harry Potter way of living.” For them, it’s all about the shared community spaces, with some amenities thrown in for fun.

A few of their ideas:

The shape of things

A residence for up to 200 students, with two- or three-person bedrooms surrounding shared spaces:

  • a kitchen fully stocked with cookware and utensils

  • a theater equipped for showing movies

  • and putting on small-group performances

  • a technology center with computing, printing, and multimedia capabilities

  • a lounge with a living-room feel, including fireplace, piano, and overstuffed chairs

  • a soundproof study area with glass walls (so you can still see what’s going on)

Beyond beige

Unique bedrooms that vary in shape and color (both walls and carpeting), and include:

  • sink, mirror, and medicine chest
  • wireless network
  • individual temperature control

Let’s get practical

  • larger closets
  • out-of-season storage for things like suitcases and winter outerwear
  • more built-in shelving

Bringing the outside in

  • larger windows and skylights for more natural lighting
  • patios or balconies off student rooms
  • a central courtyard (for picnics, bonfires, student gardens, a basketball hoop)