Howard J. Burnett Center, Washington & Jefferson College |
Cornelius & Filoni, Inc.
307 Fourth Avenue, 200 The Bank Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Dec 1999 to June 2001
Landau Building Company
- 9855 Rinaman Road, Wexford, PA 15090
Structural Engineer: Brace Engineering, Inc.
- 3440 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Meucci Engineering, Inc.
- 409 Elk Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106
- P.O. Box 7037, Huntington Woods, MI 48070
The Howard J. Burnett Center is a cornerstone building on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College (W&J). The northeastern boundary of the campus is defined by the building, which fronts on a new academic quadrangle, developed by the Architects as part of the master plan for the institution. Designed with a 30-degree bend at one end, the shape of the building responds directly to the master plan and the Campus Center, as well as a change in the City grid. The tower element while intended to relate the building to antecedents, most notably the tower of Old Main, also frames one of the primary entrances to campus.
The substantial materials used in the construction were granite, limestone, slate and copper that lend to the overall quality and help the building to become immediately compatible with the older architecture of the campus. A traditional element “the chimney,” conceals mechanical equipment.
The plan is simple, with classrooms linked to faculty offices by common areas and the circulation. Atrium spaces and the main stair interconnect levels and departments and promote communication between different disciplines. Classroom spaces are varied in size and design to allow for different room configuration and learning environments. Tiered seating layouts were designed for the classrooms on the main floor. The building circulation terminates with an auditorium, which seats 120 students on one end and at the tower rooms at the other end. All rooms are outfitted with ports that allow the rooms to be configured in alternate ways. Classroom space can also be extended out of doors into the entrance plaza that is centered on a fountain and in the grassed bowl area surrounding the lower plaza.
The level of finish of the interior is in harmony with the exterior through the use of cherry wood trim and doors, veneer plaster, wool carpet, and cove lighting. The cast iron fleur-de-lis balusters, salvaged from the first dormitory building at W&J, have sentimental value acknowledged by alumni and trustees and have become popular decorative ornamentation. The large scale, vertical ribbon window assemblies signify important areas of the internal plan, flood the building with natural light and relate the interiors to the significant outside vistas.
DIV 07: Slate: Evergreen Slate Co.
DIV 08: Wood & Plastic Windows: Pella.
DIV 09: Carpet: Brintons, Bentley; Gypsum: United States Gypsum.