Towson University West Village Commons

West Village Commons, a new LEED Gold certified dining and student life facility, serves as an anchor for the West Village Precinct, adjacent to the Precincts quad and also close to both on and off campus-housing. The West Village Precinct is a radiply expanding area on the Towson University campus, is expected to house 4,000 students by 2016.

West Village Commons was designed by Baltimore-based GWWO Architects, and was conceived as the heart of the West Village Precinctessentially the precincts living room. The building communicates the spirit and energy of the campus, offering a vibrant, inviting space, both in and out. The exterior expression of the Commons, the design of the interior gathering spaces, and the open, multi-floor circulation core, as well as the selection of materials and finishes, all play significant roles in breathing life into the facility and making students feel at home.

The building brings much needed relief spaces to the west edge of campus and gives the students an area to eat, socialize and study in their own residential neighborhood. The new 31.5M, 86,339-SF building includes retail and dining areas, study spaces, meeting rooms, student gathering spaces and a large multi-purpose special event space.

West Village Commons offers eatery options like Einstein Bros. Bagels, Coyote Jacks and Jamba Juice, and a new all-you-care-to-eat dining station offers products like trans fat-free soy oil, antibiotic-reduced pork and chicken, cage-free eggs and fair trade coffee.

As the university grows, safety remains a priority and the new building effectively addresses the schools need to help students who are walking from their off-campus apartments to the West Village Precinct reach campus safely. The new Commons features a pedestrian pathway that traverses a steep hill adjacent to the new facility, allowing students to come and go safely on the popular, previously unpaved route. A new shuttle route is also part of the design, allowing the Towson community easy access to the Commons.

As part of Towson Universitys commitment to sustainability, the building was designed to achieve LEED Certification, and was certified Gold in December 2011. The Commons includes energy efficient features such as natural lighting, numerous water conservation measures, and a green roof. The roof serves as a practical cooling system and also as a third floor outdoor event and gathering space. The projects design further preserves, integrates and embraces the existing specimen Elm tree, one of the largest and oldest in Maryland, located on the east side of the project site. It was important to both the University and the design team that the tree remain, and it grows next to the new building as a unique testament to the sites sustainability.

West Village Commons opened in September 2011.


Project Type


424 Emerson Drive, Towson, 21252,