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Project

Wellesley College, Science Center Renovation

The renovation is the largest construction project undertaken at the college and reinforces Wellesley’s position as a leader in STEM education for women.

Lead Contact

Project Details

Project Partners
SOM
Owner
Wellesley College
Completion Date
Area
86,500 ft²
Sustainability
Targeting LEED Gold Certification
Science Center Renovation at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Courtesy SOM
Science Center Renovation at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Courtesy SOM

Overview

The Wellesley Science Center renovation comprises several existing buildings of various vintages: the L-Wing, considered a fine example of Brutalist architecture built in 1977, the E-Wing, greenhouses, the Observatory, historic Sage Hall, and the soaring atrium known as The Focus. The renovation is the largest construction project undertaken at the college and reinforces Wellesley’s position as a leader in STEM education for women.

In collaboration with SOM, we provided façade consulting services for the E- and L-Wing façades and building envelope and below-grade engineering services for Sage Hall.

Highlights

  • Both the E- and L-Wing façades were replaced to remedy issues of condensation and water infiltration. The two wings received new roofs as well as high-performing, glazed aluminum storefront systems and skylights.
  • Sage Hall was partially demolished and partially preserved and adaptively reused, specifically the 1920s portion of Sage’s wall that creates the perimeter of The Focus. A new building was erected in place of the demolished portion of Sage and connects to the L- and E-Wings and The Focus. 
  • The completed Science Center is a collection of buildings clad with a zinc metal panel rainscreen and large format windows. The architectural design intent is expressed with glulam curtain walls at the entrances and stairs. A custom frit pattern on the glazing optimizes the interior light condition as well as mitigates the chance of bird collision on the glazing.