Three Rivers Community College is undergoing a major expansion to consolidate the school’s two locations. The expansion includes an additional 100,000 square feet of academic space and parking for 1,250 cars, and complete reconfiguration of the campus vehicular and pedestrian circulation system. Working closely with the College, various State agencies such as the Connecticut Department of Construction Services, and the surrounding community, Dirtworks developed an engaging landscape that supports the College’s philosophy, curriculum, and goals for a sustainable campus, and preserves and restores adjacent wetlands.
The design creates a quadrangle and campus commons where one did not previously exist. New plantings link the buildings to the broader site, allowing the landscape to become an integral part of the teaching environment. Broad sweeps of native plants flow across the landscape and through the building courtyards and parking lots to visually and functionally connect the campus to its environment. Bioswales mimic the route of the adjacent river that was previously diverted into subsurface pipes. A dramatic “river of grass” crosses the entry drive and announces the College’s focus on environmental education. Dirtworks integrated the sculpture “Nautilus” by Agnes Denes into the main entrance, where its open chambers form a playful and welcoming gathering space.
architect: Mitchell | Giurgola Architects with Fletcher Thompson
photographer: Mark Weinberg