Center for Wellness | College of New Rochelle -- New Rochelle, New York

55,000 SF | 1500 seat gymnasium | 6 lane NCAA natatorium | fitness & aerobics | Holistic Meditation | LEED Silver
The Center for Wellness is conceived as a paradisiacal garden for the exultation of the body, mind, and spirit designed to promote healthy living. Inspired by narrative and pictorial descriptions of Eden, the Center for Wellness is envisioned as a place apart at this Catholic women’s college that is idyllic and tranquil. Like the descriptions of the Garden of Eden, it is a landscaped sheltered meditation precinct, removed from the urban distractions that surround it. The natatorium is a grotto carved beneath a contemplation garden. Skylights are like fissures in a stone cavern, admitting daylight to the surface of the cool waters of the aquatic center below. The gymnasium emerges from the topography with its arcing tectonic stone walls like a rock outcropping. The concourse to this athletics center is a crevasse cut deeply into the sloping site that connects the gym to the pool. A holistic room cantilevers out over the site like a rock ledge providing a perch for mediation in the surrounding groves of trees. In this way, the Center for Wellness is a contemporary built essay of Eden. The project achieves LEED Silver certification through an expansive, landscaped green roof and other sustainable design features.