Bryn AthynCollege is a unique institution established to offer a program of higher education in the liberal arts and grounded in the teachings of the NewChurch (also called the GeneralChurch of the New Jerusalem). The College’s 30-year goal is to become known and respected throughout the world for integrating spiritual life, academic discovery, and practical application. A key milestone is the creation of a new science building, one that would feature state of the art laboratory facilities, gallery and display areas, classrooms, faculty offices, meeting rooms, and space for student engagement – where students and faculty could come together outside of class to discuss the natural and spiritual worlds. Now constructed, the Doering Center is carefully sited in an axial relationship with the new student center (also designed by the architect) with visual connectivity to the Cathedral. Exterior masonry and glass façade respect the proportions and scale of the existing campus buildings while the stone and brick details draw from the rich architectural history of the college and also the architectural vernacular of the early 20th Century Philadelphia suburbs in which the campus is located. In fact, the stone used in the building was sourced from the same regional quarry as the stone used in the Cathedral. The building’s floorplan is organized in a “U” shape with east and west wings wrapping around and enclosing a courtyard and entry plaza on the north side. The east, south, and west facades are composed of rubblestone with brick detailing. The north side, embraced by the east and west wings, is a glass curtain wall that draws one into the building with dynamic views of the activities within. The effect is that of a geode cracked open to reveal the sparkling interior within. The glazed wall is punctuated by a slate-cladvestibule, a transition point between outside and inside. The slate used here echoes the slate used on the roof and which is then in turn echoed by the slate used on the first floor of the building. At the vestibule, the irregular coursing of the stone evokes the stonework of Bryn Athyn Cathedral. The slate rain screenis attached using a mortarless spring and clip system, an economical technique that demonstrates how a traditional building material such as slate can be used in a contemporary application. This system is exposed and expressed (as are many others in the building including the elevator mechanics and plumbing valves and piping) a design decision that allows one to see how the building is made and functions. The strategy has the added benefit of providing easy access for maintenance staff and reducing operational costs. After passing through the vestibule one enters a three-story atrium that is the heart of the Center. Here, the transparency that one experiences from outside continues inside, reversing the common interior/exterior connection exploited with transparent strategies. The atrium and central vertical stair, with their transparent glazing, physically and visually connect all three floors of the building. The atrium and stair are solid and shimmering – dynamically reflecting light and activity as the sun and students move through the space. The interior wood finishes add warmth, an effect that becomes particularly apparent at night when the building is illuminated from within. The glass walls of the atrium provide views into the offices, classrooms, and laboratories. These program spaces are thoughtfully organized along a single-loaded hallway so that occupants have direct views not only into the daylight filled atrium but also through it to the natural world beyond the building’s walls. Even the placing of the chemical prep rooms, a difficult program element due to the functional nature of the space, is transformed into an opportunity by being strategically located between two labs. When privacy or darkness as opposed to transparency is desired, cherry wood-clad whiteboards can slide over the glass, a functional element that makes for a dynamic, ever-changing view inside and out.