Beloit College Powerhouse

Beloit College Powerhouse

Studio Gang
Beloit, United States | View Map
Project Year
© Studio Gang Architects

Dynamic Center for Learning and Wellness at Beloit College

Studio Gang as Architects

Studio Gang Envisions Power Plant as a Dynamic Center for Learning and Wellness at Beloit College

Beloit College, seeking to enhance student experience and the downtown Beloit riverfront, is partnering with Studio Gang Architects to reimagine a decommissioned coal-burning power plant as a sustainable, lively space for student interaction, health, and well-being. Nestled between the College’s campus and the Rock River, the Powerhouse, scheduled for completion in 2018, will include student engagement spaces such as a coffee shop, lounges and student club rooms, a conference center, and a lecture hall and theater. The building will also house a 3-lane track, an 8-lane competition pool with space for 250 spectators, a 10,000-sf fitness center, and a 17,000-sf recreational gym. The design retains architectural features of the original industrial structure while incorporating new sustainable practices. The building’s substantial brick walls and tile wainscoting will be preserved by utilizing an “isothermal envelope.” This system reduces energy use by transferring energy from the adjacent river into a network of tubes under the exterior skin, transforming the building walls into a radiant surface that will maintain a constant temperature within the Powerhouse throughout the year. Coal bunkers and steel tubing will be kept in place, preserving elements of the historic Blackhawk Generating Station, with the suspended running track weaving together the different structures of the existing plant. The Powerhouse will connect to academic and residential buildings by bridge, enhancing the campus’s engagement with the river and further catalyzing the redevelopment of Beloit’s riverfront. “We’re excited to work with Beloit College to transform an outmoded source of electricity into a wellspring of human energy,” stated Jeanne Gang. “Our hope is that by reclaiming the Beloit waterfront for people, our project will inspire other communities around the globe to see human well-being as vitally interconnected with a healthy and clean environment.”

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