Bryn Mawr College is a distinguished women’s college that boasts a tight-knit, engaged community. Its former student health center, constructed in 1913 and renovated over time, no longer supported Bryn Mawr’s health and wellness goals. The College wanted a new student life and wellness center to provide a welcoming space for students that brings together three key centers to create a synergy that redefines wellness for the community. The design benefited from the college’s origin as a Quaker institution and its more progressive sensibilities. Its exterior is intended as a visual bridge between the modernist and collegiate gothic buildings on campus, artfully combining limestone, Ashlar Wissahickon Schist stone, and aluminum with a glass curtain wall running the length of the building. Visitors to the 21,000 SF building enter through a glass-enclosed vestibule that leads to the main lobby. Here they are greeted by a calming “water wall” and a central information desk flanked by a common area of sofas and chairs on one side and offices on the other. The first floor is home to the Career & Civic Engagement Center (CCEC) and the Pensby Center for Community Development and Inclusion. The CCEC has three dedicated interview/meeting rooms and a community room outfitted with all the necessary technology for students to meet with employers and community partners and to engage with guests from around the world. The space also brings together the Center’s 16-person staff from four locations across campus. The Pensby Center is a much more central location on campus and dramatically increases common areas for student programming and support. The building is home to both a halal and kosher kitchen, a prayer room with a foot-washing station, and a multicultural living room. Upstairs, the new Health Center has six new exam rooms, and the Counseling Center has ten rooms for students to meet with counselors.
"This project began with the need to build a Health and Wellness Center that is inviting and accessible. The new building makes it possible for us to advance a concept of wellness that includes learning how to care for yourself and communities that are important to you. Locating the Pensby Center for Community Development and Inclusion and the Career & Civic Engagement Center with health and wellness services and programs creates opportunities for innovation and collaboration in student life."