Located just off of Whittier Place, a new 19,000-square-foot academic building was built in 2017. The building was designed by Jacobs Wyper Architects, awarded the GBCA Excellence Award for Best Educational Institution Project, and houses studio spaces for sculpture, architecture, and the Senior major studios. Whittier houses the MakerSpace; the space is an open and communal facility with resources for making, including tools for digital, mechanical, and manual fabrication. It is also home to an outdoor sculpture garden. The new spaces allow for adequate room and facilities for current and future pedagogy for sculpture, including a metalworking area, woodworking, and designated areas for kilns.
The building is one of Swarthmore’s first to be built to the standards of the College’s new sustainability framework, and as such has a number of interesting “green” features, including a photovoltaic array for electricity generation and a large geothermal well field for heating and cooling, which shares space with a stormwater-management bed that handles the runoff from the mini-watershed within which the building is located. The project manages stormwater from Kyle House, the Lang Center, the new building, and a portion of the DuPont parking lot. This will result in a significant decline in runoff reaching the Crum Creek and its steep banks. The project also features a small green roof and is constructed entirely of sustainable materials and bird-safe glass.
Finally, the Art program worked with the architects to create an example of color interaction on the rear of the building. The project uses sunshades designed to cut back on solar gain in the interior, reducing the energy used for cooling.