The expansion supports an increasing need for laboratory space on campus and allows the School's upper and middle school science classes to meet in the same building. A new entrance and lobby space, supporting collaborative work, informal gathering, and group events, links the original and new sections of the building.
Though the project invovled an 18,000 square foot addition to the existing 18,000 square foot structure, the goal was to design a unified series of spaces providing continuity to the science program. Integrated with the curriculum, the project functions as a teaching tool and includes sustainable strategies such as rainwater harvesting, solar hot water heating, a ground coupled heat pump system, and resource efficient materials.
The building was designed to emphasize the character of the site and the surrounding campus buildings. A much needed entrance and lobby space is the link between the original and new sections of the building. The central lobby was located and oriented to provide views of the woodland directly to the south of the building. The generous public spaces encourage collaborative work and informal interaction among students and teachers and also allow the School to use the building for larger events. An open stair and study lounge are positioned to incorporate views back to the historic residential core of campus. The expansion, like the original building, was built into the steep grade to minimize the overall height impact when viewed from the campus core.
"To help our students become leaders and stewards of a better world, Westtown examines curricular offerings and campus operations through the lens of sustainability, sets measurable goals, and launches initiatives to reach them."