LaVerne Student Housing, University of LaVerne. LaVerne, CA. Steinberg Hart Architects.


This January rings in a new year and a decade for all of us – and for many students, it means a fresh start to their spring semester! It’s common knowledge that housing prices in CA are at all-time highs, and that trickles down to student housing as well. With that said, versatile on-campus solutions for students are more important than ever.

Steinberg Hart Architects has worked thoughtfully to provide students at the University of La Verne with housing, dining, study, and social spaces. 

You Are Here

In a survey by Healthy Mind Study, eight out of ten college presidents indicated that student mental health has become more of a campus priority in the last 3 years. This is an important statistic to consider when looking at modern campus life and design.

Very often, starting school means many college freshman are away from home for the first time – which can bring feelings of isolation and discomfort. I believe shared spaces on campuses are so important, as they are a place where everyone belongs. Celebrating the social spaces on a college campuses is a way to remind students that they are not alone. These spaces encourage community, and allows students to prioritize mental health without feeling isolated. 

In an increasingly isolating pattern of replacing human interactions with digital ones, today’s shared spaces are more important than ever.

The Roads Less Traveled

I am alway so inspired and energized when I’m on a college campus. There are so many nooks and corners to photograph, and in every direction there’s a moment of peaceful stillness matched by a moment of lively energy. The multi-use space at University of La Verne allow students to utilize or pass through the shared spaces easily without interruption, almost like using an alley in a European city.

As a Southern California architectural photographer that specializes in social spaces, I thrived in these split use areas. My day was spent balancing movement and stillness as they occurred side by side – sometimes the students’, and sometimes my own! 

Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too!

If student housing is the space for community and inclusion, then the dining hall is the space for interaction and discovery. In my experience, food has always been a common unifier and can make even the most nervous freshman into relaxed social beings.   

I have to admit: one of the highlights of shooting a college campus has become the increasingly welcoming dining halls! I never say no to trying new foods in a new spot, but I also look at these delicious facilities through the lens of a shared space photographer (PHOTO PUN INTENDED). Unlike other social spaces, I love observing the immediate bonding and familiarity that is uniquely sparked over a shared meal. Instead of simply being a place to eat, dining halls serve as an additional shared and neutral space where students and faculty can interact.

Searching Out Great Eats!

Discovering the best places to eat while I’m on location.

With all the choices for great dining on campus – why would I go elsewhere for lunch? My kids are still a long way from college age, but I’ve already started feeling relief when I see so many balanced and nutritious options on campus. With that said…I chose pepperoni pizza for lunch at La Verne’s The Spot Dining Hall and have no regrets!

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