Wisconsin’s Beloit College has commissioned Studio Gang Architects to reimagine a decommissioned coal-burning power plant as a “lively” student recreation and meeting center. As it currently stands, the “Powerhouse” is a barrier between the College campus and the Rock River. Upon completion in 2018, Studio Gang hopes the structure’s revitalization will reconnect the campus with the waterfront, further catalyzing the redevelopment of Beloit’s riverfront.
More about the "Powerhouse," after the break.
“The design retains architectural features of the original industrial structure while incorporating new sustainable practices,” described Studio Gang in a press release. “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 redevelopment will transform the power plant into a “student engagement space.” Programs will include a coffee shop, student lounge and club rooms, a conference center, lecture hall and theater, as well as a 3-lane track, 8-lane competition swimming pool for 250 spectators, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and 17,000-square-foot gym.
LocationBeloit College, 700 College Street, Beloit, WI 53511, United States
Associate ArchitectAngus Young Associates
LEED ConsultantAngus Young Associates
E, P&FP EngineeringAngus Young Associates
Structural EngineeringMatrix Engineering Corporation
Mechanical and Environmental EngineeringdbHMS
Civil EngineeringR.H. Batterman & Co.
Athletic Facility ConsultantMoody Nolan
Landscape Architect and Ecological DesignApplied Ecological Services.
Vertical TransportationJenkins & Huntington, Inc.
PhotographsCourtesy of Studio Gang Architects