Campus Center

Franklin W. Olin College


Location: Needham, MA

Total GSF: 77,000 GSF

Completed: 2003


The campus center links the residential complex to the central campus green with an internal “bleacher” stair which functions both as a primary circulation element and as a central meeting space. The ground floor faces the residences and houses the C-store and the central mail room. The main floor holds the servery and a dining hall designed to flexibly accommodate a broad range of activities. The upper floor contains offices, meeting rooms, and a recreation balcony that overlooks the dining hall.  

Minimizing energy consumption and sizing building systems appropriately are important steps toward improving a building’s sustainable performance. In the case of Olin, a campus whose future growth is both expected and planned, sizing building systems to accommodate future demand is a strategic sustainable choice. Asingle physical plant coordinates mechanical and operating systems for the entire campus, and becomes and element in the campus center design: a large window highlights the equipment, revealing to students the infrastructure that underpins their surroundings.


Photography © Michael Moran