Through the addition of a new central structure, Jastak-Burgess Hall combines two former fraternity houses, Sigma Phi Epsilon, built in 1922, and Sigma Nu, built in 1929. These two buildings, located at the far end of the campus green, were completely renovated and now serve as the headquarters for the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature with 62 faculty offices, as well as a conference center and a language laboratory. Bridging between them is a new circulation core and main entrance.
A significant design challenge was developing a plan to provide a seamless transition between the two existing structures, while also ensuring code compliance and ADA accessibility. Complicating the issue were restrictions imposed by the residential scale of the buildings, differing floor elevations and roof shapes, limited space available for the new infill due to the close proximity of the two buildings, and the need to blend the exteriors in both scale and materials. The final design uses the addition as a transition piece, housing an elevator with two stops per floor, and some of the buildings support systems. Exterior materials, including brick, were carefully selected to ensure the final building would appear to have always been one structure.