This new interdisciplinary hub is a crucial piece of the College’s academic strategy to promote synergies between engineering and the other academic disciplines that comprise its rigorous, globally-engaged liberal arts education.
With planning, design, and engineering led by Ballinger, the 160,000 SF Singer Hall provides expanded, modern space for science research and teaching at Swarthmore, including classrooms, laboratories, office space, and indoor and outdoor commons areas.
Singer Hall redefines an existing garden quad, and employs faceting and stepped massing, varied window spacing, sensitive material choices, and micro-ecosystem landscaping to respect the adjacent campus scale and context. The building’s two primary components – an L-shaped lab wing and a garden pavilion containing departmental offices – are linked by a three-story, highly-transparent Commons that opens onto and visually engages the quad.
Entry portals located on each orientation are aligned with existing pathways and accompanied by distinctive programmatic elements that reflect the three academic departments contained within. Internally, Singer Hall aligns with the College’s core values and strategic academic plan by fostering high-impact experiences and engagement in small group venues, with inherent flexibility to meet future programmatic demands.
Singer Hall has been developed in accordance with Swarthmore’s rigorous Environmental Sustainability Framework, which is equivalent to, and in some ways exceeds, LEED Platinum criteria. Sustainable features include high-performance heating and cooling systems, a rainwater collection cistern and below-grade retention beds, incorporation of natural and recycled materials throughout, as well as real-time monitoring of energy and water systems. The building’s sustainable design and construction serves as both a symbol of Swarthmore’s environmental stewardship and a teaching tool for students.