2016 | Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College had a set of routine problems: A cluster of 1920s-era buildings without ADA-compliant bathrooms, a tennis court that was leading to stormwater runoff issues, and a lack of dedicated space for outdoor events, performances, and alumni functions. Swarthmore sought to resolve these problems in a way that would test several ambitious sustainability strategies for possible replication on future projects. Re:Vision’s net-zero energy design nestles an artful pavilion between existing buildings and trees to create a courtyard enclosure. The project manages a high volume of stormwater by harvesting runoff from existing tennis courts and the building’s roof for use in flushing toilets. The pavilion will be powered by a solar array on a neighboring trellis that provides further enclosure and shade. Like the surrounding buildings, the pavilion will have a chimney, but its chimney will be made of glass and will illuminate both the building’s interior and shine out, beacon-like, to illuminate the outdoor space.