Bowdoin College - Brunswick, ME
Bowdoin College approached us with an ambitious proposition: help us transform the study of the environment with (our) greenest and most advanced academic building to date. The College has been a leader in environmental sciences and has embraced an interdisciplinary approach to academics for decades. They wanted a facility that would expand this field of study and encourage a new level of teamwork and creativity. And of course it had to be LEED certified.
Inspired by the old growth pines on campus, we approached the design by imagining a split log, shifted and canted, and extrapolated the building plan from that. By splitting the building form, the core idea of transparency, both physical and academic, was realized.
The design not only consolidates the various departments into one location but organizes them into classroom and research facilities that support their individual pursuits while opening them to more spontaneous interactions, cross-discipline. We’ve moved researchers and professors out of their hidden labs into bright, glass-fronted spaces where students and other faculty can be more readily engaged. The center circulation space is a multi-story glass ‘lantern’ which is also used for functions. The sustainable building materials used reflect the site’s natural beauty. On track to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the building will also act as a teaching lab of sustainable and innovative construction technologies.
The Roux Center will help us learn how to use space differently and more effectively for how we all teach and learn. And that will inform our future decisions for the campus as a whole.Clayton Rose, President Bowdoin College