Bowdoin College, David Saul Smith Union Brunswick, Maine
As the heart of campus, students gravitate towards the union which encourages a variety of social encounters using its range of differently scaled spaces marked by diverse qualities.
As the heart of campus, students gravitate towards the union which encourages a variety of social encounters using its range of differently scaled spaces, marked by diverse qualities. The large central lounge, frequently referred to as the college’s “family room,” radiates energy and vitality, inviting students to gather and engage with each other.
An adaptive re-use project, the union is housed in an old gymnasium that originally consisted of a cavernous interior volume. The insertion of a dramatic ramp, serving as an organizing concept as well as a professional pathway, allows new programmatic activities to be arranged along the way.
Unfolding between brick walls and connecting to a wide range of meeting spaces and intimate nooks, the ramp provides opportunities for interaction, observation of activities occurring on other levels, as well as periodic glimpses out to the rest of campus.