Lafayette College

Oechsle Center for Global Education

Building materials celebrate the campus' local and global identities.

The exterior granite is quarried regionally and is a lively and elegant gray hue with varied highlights of tan and blue. Its ashlar pattern ties it to the campus aesthetic. Inside the Oechsle Center for Global Education are several “Global Wood Walls.” The walls are constructed with salvaged lumber from around the world to promote the use of local and recycled materials and to reflect the center's global focus. Reclaimed wood from six continents is featured in panels and cabinets in proportion to the percent of world population that each continent represents. The wood was reclaimed from a variety of sources including shipping pallets, winery casks and rail yards.

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Facilitating interdisciplinary interactions.

The building’s transparency suggests its inner life—to promote an enlightened world view, cultivate global citizenship and encourage engagement across programs and disciplines. The Oechsle Center accepts and celebrates different styles of learning and teaching with a variety of classroom space and configurations. Walls can be moved and furniture is flexible and easily reconfigured.

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A new gateway to Lafayette College.

The Oechsle Center establishes Global Education as a symbol of academic innovation and curricular relevance, and its architecture and interiors support this pedagogical goal. The exterior forms a point of mediation between Lafayette and the wider Easton community beyond. It is elongated along the East/West Axis while having major fenestration along the North and South facades. A glass atrium, conceived as part of the larger campus pathways, joins two wings and the building’s massing and scale are broken up by use of perpendicular gables and dormer-like windows on the third level.

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A symbolic nod to the salon.

The ‘Global Salon’ is a 24/7 space, neither fully academic nor fully social but a vital amalgamation of both that recalls the ages‐old concept of the salon – a gathering of intellectually minded people in a semipublic venue. The building program encourages the social aspect of learning with informal collaboration spaces located throughout each floor.

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