The building commands a picturesque site on the Chester River. The river is physically and programmatically integrated in every aspect of its design. In addition to providing an idyllic setting, the river acts as a living laboratory that affords students with an immersive, hands-on experience in support of the building’s programs in environmental science and wetlands ecology.
A testament to Washington College’s waterfront renaissance, the net-positive building relies solely on renewable energy sources to operate pollutant-free year-round. Designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, Semans-Griswold is expected to produce 105 percent of its energy needs on-site utilizing rooftop photovoltaic panels and a ground-source heating and cooling system.
The design features clear visual and physical connections to the Chester River which reinforce the work done in the field and in the lab. Inspired by biophilic design, the building celebrates daylight with a rooftop clerestory and connections to the riverfront landscape with ample glazing. A welcoming wrap-around porch with warm wood finishes complements the scale of the building and its natural setting.
The building was designed by Ayers Saint Gross.
The winners will be announced later this year.
Photography provided by Maryland AIA Chapters