Designed to serve as a literal gateway to both higher education and America, the Gateway Center at Westchester Community College in New York has recently been awarded with its LEED Gold certification. The community college largely services a community of immigrants seeking to improve the quality of their lives through education and the new center, designed by Ennead Architects, is the first building they encounter on their journey. Daylighting, energy and water efficient design, solar passive design, and local materials conjoin along with an impressive illuminated tower.
The 70,000 square foot facility is composed of two wings joined by a large daylit atrium and houses the Welcome Center and International Student Office. General classrooms, faculty offices, and the language program are housed in the two-story south wing, while the three-story north wing houses the fashion and business programs as well as more classrooms and offices.
An aluminum and glass curtain wall system supported by structural steel elements create an open, column-free space and a daylit and transparent environment. A brise soleil on the Gateway Center’s south facing courtyard facade allows for undisturbed views of the campus and optimized daylight inside. Meanwhile the building was sited to minimize disruption and the landscaping provides a natural habitat for flora and fauna, while infiltrating stormwater and minimizing heat island effect. Solar orientation, efficient fenestration and insulation along with operable windows minimize heat gain and energy usage.
The Gateway Center opened in September of 2010 and in February of 2011, received its LEED Gold Certification. Ennead Architects also won a prestigious 2011 AIANY Design Award of Merit for the community college building from the New York AIA. The design for the project was led by Susan Rodriguez (Design Partner) and Timothy Hartung (Management Partner).
Images ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto for Ennead Architects