Widener University, Schwartz Athletic Center, Wellness Center Addition

Chester, Pennsylvania

  • FIRM

    The Collaborative Inc


    Widener University

  • AREA

    28,000 sq.ft.





The 28,000-square-foot Wellness Center addition gives the existing Schwartz Athletic Center’s west facade an entirely new entry image. Students and administrators wanted a wellness center full of life, activity and energy, where students could “see and be seen.”

The design team responded to this charge with floor-to-ceiling glass, and put the climbing wall, fitness ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$257.50CITATIONBronze CitationFEATURED IN2007 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYPhysical-Education Facilities/Recreation Centers aerobic areas on display. The curved roof and two-story entry and fitness areas provide an open, voluminous feeling. The addition provides outwardly focused spaces where patrons are able to enjoy the beauty of the campus, as well as allow the activity and energy to be viewed from the exterior.

Designers mitigated glare and solar gain on the west-facing glass by utilizing broad overhangs and a long, deep canopy to cut off direct sunlight. A 10-degree sloped (outward canted) curtainwall system reduces direct sunlight infiltration. Electronic window shades also were installed, improving thermal comfort and decreasing the mechanical load. Operable windows along the bottom of the sloped curtainwall system allow for natural ventilation and improved user comfort.

“Two-story windows bring outside inside.

Bright, alive and cheerful with plenty of circulation space.”--2007 jury