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<< Design & Construction



Shepley Bulfinch Transforms Residential Life at Wabash College


12/19/2016

Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation with offices in Boston, Houston and Phoenix, announced today the completion of 22,500 SF of renovations to Martindale Hall and 49,200 SF of new construction on the Residential Life District at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The six new buildings and 136 new beds have increased housing capacity on campus by 25% and the renovated residence hall has transformed student life at the nationally respected liberal arts school. The West Campus opened on May 14, 2016 and a re-dedication ceremony was held for Martindale on October 22, 2016.

Founded in 1832, Wabash College is an independent, liberal arts college for men with an enrollment of 900 students. Its mission is to educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.

In August 2013, Shepley Bulfinch was engaged by Wabash College to produce a campus master plan and create a phased and flexible planning approach for addressing the immediate need for updating on-campus housing. The completed master plan created a contemporary vision for the 184-year-old campus as a whole and developed a strategy for residential development and reuse. Wabash is transforming a housing inventory was built more than 50 years ago by significantly elevating the quality and quantity of current student living environments, while helping the college position itself competitively for a planned increase in enrollment. 

“Since it was founded in 1832, Wabash College has been a mission-driven liberal arts college for men. We undertook a campus master planning process as part of our goal to expand the academic and geographic footprint of the College,” said Wabash College President Gregory D. Hess. “Shepley Bulfinch has helped us re-think how today’s students live on campus and introduced a contemporary design vision on a 184-year-old campus in a way that’s never been done before.”

Each of the phased housing projects responds to its immediate campus environment and is composed of multiple building scales that harmonize with the existing Wabash campus fabric. Exterior materials include limestone, brick, metal and glass and are a modern interpretation of the existing campus structures. The building siting creates outdoor spaces promoting interaction, multi-use lawns, and areas that blend the traditional social divide between indoor and outdoor spaces. Common areas were located next to high-density traffic areas to encourage interaction.

West Campus Residential District

49,200 SF New Construction

Six new buildings with 136 beds have been constructed in the Residential Life District. Two-story townhomes face a residential street and are flanked by traditional residential halls, which open onto the campus lawn. A series of gathering spaces guide residents from the privacy of the dorm rooms to progressively more public living rooms, which in turn connect to outdoor gathering plaza, paths and green spaces nestled around the individual buildings. Natural light-filled gathering spaces are located at the main entrances of each building to encourage chance interactions.

The interior palate blends exterior finish materials with warm wood and welcoming colors to extend the transition from exterior to interior into the building, increasing opportunities for students to interact, gather and connect on the west side of the campus. A metal stair featuring wood treads and railings that, over time, will develop a patina of use similar to other wood tread stairs on campus, connecting past, present and future students in the story of Wabash.

Project team members include:

·         General Contractor: Hagerman Group

·         Civil Engineer: Cripe Architects + Engineers

·         Structural Engineer: Fink Roberts and Petrie, Inc.

·         Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: Loftus Engineering, Inc.

·         Electrical Engineer: R.E. Dimond and Associates, Inc.

·         Landscape: Rundell Ernstberger Associates, LLC

Martindale Hall

22,500 SF Renovation

Martindale Hall is Wabash’s largest residence hall and had not been updated since its original construction in 1961. The building did not meet ADA requirements and its interconnected suites were inefficiently organized. The newly renovated five-story Martindale Hall provides updated room types to meet the demands of today’s college students. While there is a dining hall on campus, some units have kitchenettes to supplement the campus-wide food offerings. The showcase moment of the building is a new glass entrance leading into a two-story common area with a fireplace. The building abuts the neighboring historic campus arboretum and the glass entry fosters an indoor/outdoor experience which connects students with the campus environment.

The common area spaces feature furniture for different types of activity, such as meeting, gathering and studying, and styles include durable yet comfortable furniture with a clean modern aesthetic. A mixture of high and low pieces includes modular furniture to encourage one-on-one and group socializing. A moveable media wall in the Living Room provides flexibility for different activities within the space, and a two-story light-colored limestone fireplace anchors the surrounding open space.

The interior finish palette consists of natural “changing of the season” hues, inspired by the building’s connection to the arboretum. Each level is identified with a different accent color, and the wood trim on walls and ceilings creates a warm and welcoming entry. Organic patterns are present in the carpet and wood-grained porcelain tile on the first floor and garden-level floors. The lighting is soft and warm, creating a comforting, home-like ambiance.

Project team members include:

·         Construction Manager: F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company

·         Civil Engineer: Cripe Architects + Engineers

·         Structural Engineer: Fink Roberts and Petrie, Inc.

·         Mechanical//Electrical/Plumbing Engineer: Enverity Engineering

·         Fire Protection: RSQ Fire Protection

·         Landscape: Engledow Group

 For more information, please visit www.shepleybulfinch.com or follow us on Twitter at @ShepleyBulfinch.