The newest addition to campus reflects the extraordinary vision, masterful planning, and collective moxie of the campus community.
Here’s a look at some details that define the state-of-the-art space.
Size of the completed five-story building, which houses biology, computer science, environmental science and environmental studies, the Office of Sustainability, Bradbury Dyer, III ’64 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Daniel and Heidi ’91 Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education. The center also houses the Dorflinger-Graham Collaborative Neuroscience Space, as well as data science, the College’s newest minor.
Rockwell houses more than classrooms and labs. Study rooms and cozy nooks are flexible spaces, outfitted with movable furniture and whiteboards that invite idea-sharing. Students are there around the clock. Even those who don’t have classes in Rockwell are drawn in to study, socialize, and eat.
Payette architects designed the lobby and public spaces with “fritted” windows—small ceramic dots added to the glass to help deter birds from striking. The building also was deliberately designed to limit the use of exterior glass, another proven method to reduce bird impacts. Fritted glass also reduces solar heat gain, making Rockwell more energy efficient
Lafayette now has more digitally networked microscopes than any other institution of higher learning in North America. Images from microscopes can be projected at the front of the room. Instructors can point to areas of the specimen they want to discuss for all to see. Students can annotate their images as well as measure distances and save the images. With Wi-Fi capability, microscopes allow students to capture images on their cellphones, computers, or tablets. Students also can make videos of their specimens if they want to document changes over time.
Rockwell’s ECO Café has become a popular campus eatery, serving an average of 600 people a day. Several offerings are from alumni-owned businesses: Pastaficio 610 in Easton (Phil Noto ’72), Castle Valley Mills in Bucks County (Mark and Fran Henry Fischer ’87), and The Safe + Fair Food Company (Dave Leyrer ’89 and Pete Najarian ’88).
Rockwell’s design supports the College’s growth plan. The building has space to accommodate additional faculty and students and to be customizable based on future needs.