"Its strength lies in Centerbrook's campus planning strategy: they added two coherent spaces to the Colby campus, where there was once a single, undefined lawn."
Progressive Architecture, April 1990

"Inside, [it] has the wonderful quality of being endlessly complicated and endlessly explorable, yet at the same time perfectly clear."
Boston Globe, March 24, 1987

The Trustees of Colby College in central Maine, in the wake of their decision to abolish on-campus fraternities, commissioned a 28,000 square foot student center to provide a new focus for the college's social life. The center was to be a sociable building which offered students and faculty a variety of lounges and meeting rooms and which was truly multi-purpose in its function.

While the chosen location - on a major path that connects the two halves of the campus - was ideal for a building that was to become the social center of the College, it also posed the potential risk of dividing rather than unifying the campus. The solution was to make the building bridge the path and thus become a gateway linking both sides of the campus not only physically but symbolically as well.

Photography © Norman McGrath, Colby College