Centerbrook Wins The University of the South Architectural Competition

Published on July 14th, 2015

Centerbrook has won an invitational competition for a new University Commons on the campus of the University of the South, familiarly known as Sewanee. The select group of three competing architects came from an initial shortlist of 10 firms. The highly sustainable building will be in the heart of the university’s Tennessee campus.

“The members of the selection committee were very interested in how well the finalists responded to questions challenging their design and project ideas. We felt that Centerbrook was unusually responsive in those conversations, and we look forward to working with them on the next phase of the project,” said the University’s Provost, John Swallow.

Founded in 1857, Sewanee is a coeducational liberal arts university whose core campus lies within the “Domain,” its scenic 13,000-acre property atop the Cumberland Plateau. The school has a long “green” tradition of carefully managing the Domain and engaging with the natural environment throughout the curricula.

Centerbrook’s seven-person project team submitted design concepts that respond to the University’s wish to expose as much of the Commons’ programs and spaces as possible while taking advantage the of site’s proximity to central campus Quad, the University Avenue streetscape and Abbo’s Alley.

“As we develop the design of the Commons, we recognize the need to continue the campus fabric while responding as well to the nearby revered forest path, Abbo’s Alley,” said Centerbrook Partner Mark Simon. “We hope it delights the whole University community every day.”

Full design will start shortly.

Note: Centerbrook apologizes for the inaccuracies in an earlier version of this story.