Employing a somewhat more traditional living arrangement utilizing individual bedrooms with building-wide shared common spaces, Oliver Hall is laid out with two main residential wings that intersect at a "hinge point." With a capacity of approximately 170 students in just over 45,000 square feet, the new residence hall features a mixture of single, double and triple bedrooms; large game room and laundry facilities; an individual music practice room; two large student lounges, each with its own kitchen and fireplace; three additional smaller lounges, including a separate movie viewing lounge; and five separate outdoor decks – four of which are accessible only from inside the building.
The residence hall also houses a full two-bedroom apartment for the resident director.The building's design is intended to convey a residential feel utilizing steeply pitched roof forms and wood windows. The building was built into a gently sloping site, which allowed the use of a daylight basement along the north side. Exterior materials were chosen for their long-term durability as well as their compatibility with the campus context. Locally manufactured brick, ground-face CMU and integrally colored concrete combine to offer many years of low-maintenance life while expressing the building's and the university's commitment to sustainable building practices. Exposed wood beams were used sparingly to highlight certain focal points of the building and to contribute to its fit into the heavily wooded campus.