Campus Center Awarded 2006 Harleston Parker Medal
Boston Society of Architects Says Building “Evokes Both Wonder and Delight"
Dec. 20, 2006
Mary Ann Hill
Mass. – The Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center has been awarded
the 2006 Harleston Parker Medal by the Boston Society of Architects
(BSA), which annually recognizes "the most beautiful piece
of architecture, building, monument, or structure" built within
the past 10 years in the Greater Boston area. "We are delighted
that the Wang Campus Center has received this honor,” said President
Diana Chapman Walsh. “In the 18 months
since it opened, ‘the Lulu’ – as it is affectionately
called – has become a lively and popular hub for our diverse
The 10-member jury of architects and design professionals unanimously selected the Wang Center, which was designed by Mack Scoggin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, from among 150 nominated projects. In its commendation of the building, the jury wrote:
"The new building literally floats on the site, raised above a sloping landscape and integrated into the campus pedestrian circulation by sweeping bridges. Interior spaces are clustered on several levels, defining the interior circulation as the in-between space and resisting any effort to contain the building within a rectilinear shell. …The many different internal spaces offer both warmth and hominess as well as breathtaking views of the adjacent wetland valley and woodlands and the more distant lake. Both interior and exterior details are clearly conceived and carefully executed to be coherent in the total composition and pleasantly tactile and elegant in the foreground. …the jury recognized that this building has the characteristics that evoke both wonder and delight in those who walk through or around it, and it is for this transcendent quality that the jury recommends this building for the 2006 Harleston Parker Medal.”
The 50,000 square-foot Wang Campus Center houses a variety of lounges and informal gathering areas, meeting rooms, a post office, student mailboxes, a coffee shop, three dining venues, a convenience store, campus pub, bookstore, and a large multi-purpose space. Built in conjunction with the restoration of a valley beside Lake Waban, the four-story building provides striking sight lines and views of the campus. Alumnae Valley was recently honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects with its 2006 Award for Excellence in the general design category.
campus center is named for Lulu Chow Wang, a Wellesley trustee and
investment professional from the Class of 1966, who, with her husband,
was the largest donor to the building. Richard White Sons of Newton,
Mass., was the construction manager for the project. Genesis Planners
of Waltham, Mass., provided project management. Patricia Bryne, vice
president for administration and planning, led the project planning and
execution over a six-year period.
The Wang Center is the third building on the Wellesley campus to receive the Harleston Parker Medal. The Davis Museum and Cultural Center was honored in 2000 and the Science Center in 1988.
Committed to educating women since its founding in 1870, Wellesley College
has long been recognized as one of the finest liberal arts colleges in
the country. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate
students from all 50 states and 68 countries.