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Westmont College’s new three building, 46,000 square foot complex utilized mass timber to achieve the desired architectural intent and highlight the University’s commitment to sustainability. Establishing a cohort of living and learning, the institute helps students prepare for strategic leadership positions worldwide.
Architecturally, the buildings were designed as “tree houses” to nestle among the site’s native oak groves, employing wood and stone to blend with the natural environment. The project’s two dormitory buildings, which support seventy additional on campus housing units with shared kitchens on every floor, focused on efficiency through a more traditional wood framed structure that used wood members and wood studs for walls. The central common building, which provides a 2 story bedroom apartment for the residence hall director, a coffee shop, program offices, and indoor outdoor seminar and lounge spaces, utilized Glulam beams of Alaskan cedar wood. Concealed wood to wood connectors provide a clean look and bring focus to the natural beauty of the material. The use of wood, both mass timber and traditional wood structure, provided a cost effective, lightweight structure that could realize the design intent of independent, floating “pods,” while also protecting the existing oak trees.
Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT), Timber-Frame / Post and Beam, Heavy Timber Decking, Light-Frame, I-joists, Wood structural panels