Bowdoin Coastal Studies Center Underway

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Site work began in the summer and construction is now well underway for the Centerbrook Architects & Planners-designed expansion of the Bowdoin College Schiller Coastal Studies Center.

The overall design includes six buildings and 15,500 square feet of new construction at the picturesque site overlooking the Harpswell Sound on Orr’s Island in Maine.

The project is highlighted by a 4,200-square-foot dry lab and the 4,950-square-foot Living & Learning Building. The remaining four new buildings are residential and consist of a cabin apartment and three six-bedroom cabins.

The new lab will include teaching, research, preparation and support spaces to facilitate the Schiller Coastal Studies Center’s marine, estuarine, and terrestrial research and teaching.

The Living & Learning building will provide spaces for classes, conferences, and dining, and will be Passive House Certified. The four residential buildings, while not certified, will also include many Passive House principles.

“These new facilities will mean exciting opportunities for all Bowdoin students, regardless of major,” said David Carlon, director of the Schiller Coastal Studies Center. “The 118 acres of forest and five miles of coast will serve as a living laboratory for existing and new science curricula focused on change in the Gulf of Maine. It will also provide a unique coastal refuge for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to think differently about the challenges that lie ahead.”

JF Scott Construction of Maine is the construction manager for the project. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering is by van Zelm while RFS is the structural engineer. Thorton Thomasetti is the Passive House administrator.

Construction is projected to be complete in time for the 2020-21 academic year. Follow the progress through this photo gallery.

The Schiller Coastal Studies Center expansion marks the first Bowdoin project for Centerbrook, which has now designed for 57 college and university campuses nationwide. In addition to Bowdoin, Centerbrook has 11 active higher education design projects in Connecticut, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.