Babson College Park Manor West / Schlesinger Innovation Center (work completed at Sasaki*)
*Work completed at Sasaki. Chris Merritt was a member of the concept design through construction implementation team while employed as a project Landscape Architect at Sasaki.
The location of the new Park Manor West at the geographic and social center of campus transforms the campus core. Situated between academic buildings to the west and a collection of historic residence halls to the east, Park Manor West becomes the crossroads of the academic and residential experiences on campus.
The siting of the building and its L-shaped parti forms three distinct open spaces and traverses over a floor of grade change from the south to the north. By embedding large interior volumes such as an amphitheater and a flex classroom into the grade change, the team was able to provide more spacious learning environments while reducing the height of the building in relation to the scale of the adjacent historic Park Manor residence halls. The building frames a new Residential Quad to the east and the new Tomasso Lawn to the west. Benches are staggered across the sloping lawn to create an outdoor theater-like setting that can be used for special occasions such as convocation and student performances or everyday classes held outdoors. A major pedestrian path lined with bench seating connects the residential quad with the academic precinct to the west.
Photo credit: Trent Bell
Location: Wellesley, MA
Team: Babson College, Sasaki Associates