Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects retained Richard Turlington Architects to provide technical consultation and preparation of working drawings for a new 125,000 sf building on the Grinnell College campus. The diverse space program for the new Student Center generated a building composed of many different forms made from a variety of materials. Richard Turlington Architect's main responsibility was to prepare documents for the exterior façade designed for the extreme winter weather conditions of central Iowa.
The overall detail strategy, had to be very modern and unobtrusive so each building form could stand on its own. Some of the technical challenges Richard Turlington Architects faced included a stone ellipse that was floated above the ground. The Center incorporates a courtyard that is created by a 2 story butt glazed curtainwall snakes around the perimeter and tips in and out, creating a very geometrically challenged enclosure system. There is a truncated cone form with an internal fireplace chimney that creates a quiet room for students to meet. A 3 story limestone block is perforated with small punched windows, creating a simple volume for private dining diffused with natural light.
This was a very fun project to sort out. With all the disparate parts and fenestration assemblies, managing the dew point location and keeping the building appropriately dry was a challenge that tested the limits of available technology and required a myriad of wall construction assemblies.
The different building forms and modern detailing reflected the perfect student population at Grinnell; diverse, modern and edgy.