Roux Center for the Environment

Bowdoin College - Brunswick, ME

Improving education by consolidating scattered departments in an advanced green building with a soaring glass auditorium that physically articulates transparent learning.

Bowdoin College Roux Center - CambridgeSeven
Bowdoin College Roux Center - CambridgeSeven
Bowdoin College Roux Center - CambridgeSeven

The Project

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.

The Approach

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 Result

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. This LEED Platinum building will also act as a teaching lab of sustainable and innovative construction technologies.

Total Area


Water reclamation


LEED Certification


Laboratories housed


electricity from rooftop photovoltaic array


2023 Built Design Excellence

Boston Society for Architecture

2022 Green Building of the Year Finalist

Built Environment Plus

2021 Architecture Award for Educational Buildings

LOOP Design Awards

A lovely, contextual project that is an asset to its campus community, both in function and appearance.

BSA Built Design Excellence Awards Jury, 2023

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

Team Leaders

In The News

The Times Record - November 1, 2018 

Green movement grows brighter on campuses in Maine

Feature story highlighting the firm's role in helping Bowdoin College take on climate change with their design on the new, environmentally-smart Roux Center for the Environment.

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