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. Inspired by narrative and pictorial descriptions of Eden, the Wellness Center 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 that is 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 below. The gymnasium emerges from the topography with its arcing tectonic stone walls like a rock outcropping. The concourse 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 and has an expansive landscaped "green" roof.