A Magnet for Student Life on Campus
Situated at the heart of the Sarah Lawrence College campus, the Barbara Walters Campus Center (BWCC) creates a dynamic new hub of student life and campus community. The ‘living room’ of campus, the BWCC provides a communal space the campus lacked—one with a variety of flexible spaces for conversation, collaboration, celebration, and breaking bread. Informed by visioning sessions with the extended campus community, the design is both fully tailored to specific current needs and equipped to flexibly adapt to those of the future.
The schematic design maximizes the site, creating an inviting front yard, small terraces, and courtyards extending the program outward. The building is woven into the fabric of the site, its layout designed to carefully preserve the contours of the land, hills, indigenous rock formations, and trees. Paths weave pedestrians through the site and building, creating connection to programs in the BWCC and surrounding buildings.
Acting as a tent, the roof covers a series of pavilions and extends over several exterior spaces in a gesture of welcome. The pavilions are connected by an important, interstitial place—the atrium. A grand stair anchors the atrium, facilitating movement between interior and exterior to create a natural hub of campus activity. The BWCC, made possible in part by a gift from celebrated alumna Barbara Walters, acts as a platform to highlight the impact and legacy of the Sarah Lawrence education, empowering current and future students to follow in her pioneering footsteps.