EwingCole Takes Home Best of Year Award Win for Early Education

EwingCole Takes Home Best of Year Award Win for Early Education

Philadelphia, PA (December 2023) – EwingCole is honored to announce that the Graham Athletic and Wellness Center at William Penn Charter School has been recognized with the prestigious Best of Year Award in the category of early education by Interior Design Magazine.

The Interior Design Magazine’s 18th annual Best of Year Awards recognize outstanding achievements in the design industry, acknowledging projects and products that demonstrate innovation, creativity, and excellence. The Graham Athletic and Wellness Center’s win in the early education category underscores its unique contribution to creating a vibrant and holistic learning environment.

“We are thrilled to receive the Best of Year Award for the Graham Athletic and Wellness Center,” said Designer Andrew-Donaldson-Evans, AIA, LEED AP. “This project exemplifies our dedication to understanding the unique needs of educational institutions and creating spaces that contribute to the holistic development of students. We are honored to have been part of realizing William Penn Charter School’s vision and for all those who contributed to this outstanding project.”


About the Project

William Penn Charter School, the oldest Quaker school in the country, embarked on a journey to enhance its educational landscape by seamlessly integrating arts, athletics, and scholastic achievement. The Graham Athletic and Wellness Center, designed as part of a comprehensive campus master plan, stands at the crossroads of academic and athletic areas, embodying the school’s commitment to a harmonious coexistence of various facets of student life.

The exterior design of the center beautifully deconstructs the austere colonial revival architecture that characterizes the campus, marrying contemporary aesthetics with historical context. The result is a facility that not only meets the functional needs of over 900 students but also aligns with the larger master plan goals of creating a pedestrian-friendly and traffic-free campus core.

Internally, the Graham Athletic and Wellness Center reflects the values of a Quaker education — simplicity, transparency, and community. The open and well-lit spaces provide clear lines of sight to the campus, creating an environment conducive to learning, wellness, and athletic pursuits.

EwingCole collaborated closely with William Penn Charter School to program and plan the facility, ensuring it accommodates the diverse needs of students in the 21st Century. The Center hosts multiple wellness programs and competitive and recreational athletic activities and features state-of-the-art facilities such as competition-level basketball courts, a climbing wall, and a nutrition center.

A multi-story lounge space at the heart of the wellness program, flanked by a nutrition bar and flexible classrooms, serves as the focal point for collaborative learning and community engagement. This space exemplifies EwingCole’s commitment to creating environments that foster personal and collective growth.

EwingCole extends its gratitude to Interior Design Magazine for acknowledging the Graham Athletic and Wellness Center’s contribution to the field of early education design. The firm remains committed to pushing the boundaries of design excellence and contributing to the creation of spaces that positively impact communities.

For more information about EwingCole and its award-winning projects, please visit our Design Portfolio.