ofWellness centers are cropping up on college campuses everywhere. For its new center, the College of New Rochelle asked Princeton architect Ikon.5 to give them a facility that spoke to wellness as a holistic experience of the human body, mind and spirit. In designing the new center, Design Partner Joseph Tattoni looked to the metaphor of a paradisiacal garden for inspiration in creating this award winning, Silver LEED certified building that merges building and landscape into a singular statement that speaks to wellness through its siting, program and materials.
The 55,000 sq ft building houses spaces for physical education, sport competition and contemplation including a 2000-seat gymnasium and convocation center; a competition level natatorium; a fitness/aerobics center; a holistic mediation room, classrooms; and an outdoor contemplation garden and chapel. Metaphoriaclly, each program element represents a landform: the natatorium, with its vaulted sandblasted concrete ceilings and wall, is the grotto; the gymnasium, with its exterior granite walls, is a rock outcropping and the lobby concourse is a stone crevasse deeply cut into the gently sloping site.
In deference to the scale of the existing campus and neighboring residences, Tattoni suppressed 40% of the building's program below grade and used the space above to locate a contemplation garden and skylights to bring natural light into the building below.
The building, which opened in May 2008, is constructed of locally quarried granite, glass and concrete.