Whittier Hall is a new academic building at Swarthmore College that will initially serve as a temporary “swing space” for the Psychology Department and Engineering Shops (including wood, metal and welding shops) until completion of a new Biology, Engineering and Psychology Building. In the future, Whittier will be reconfigured to accommodate ceramics, sculpture, painting and drawing students, including arts studios, a seminar room, critique space and display areas.
A focus on sustainability is evident throughout the planning and design of Whittier. An existing heritage oak tree was preserved by splitting the layout into two wings, connected by a pedestrian bridge that spans over the tree’s root system, and the provided storm water drainage bed manages 25 times the required storm water flow on site. Other sustainable features include large vertical sunshades, a geothermal heating and cooling conditioning system, accessible green roof terrace, anti-bird strike glass and a photovoltaic array. The resulting carbon neutral facility meets LEED Platinum standards and is one of Swarthmore’s first to be built to the standards of the College’s new sustainability framework.