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Building for Collaboration: How Babson College’s Weissman Foundry Cultivates Collaboration Between Three Colleges

For several years, innovation labs, maker-spaces, and other flexible learning spaces have sprouted up on academic campuses, fostering the trend of experiential and transdisciplinary learning. Having a space that is open-concept and adaptable gives schools the flexibility to meet the needs of their students and teachers without costly renovations. More importantly, this trend in education has promoted collaboration among students and across disciplines.

While many of these new academic spaces are focused on STEM or STREAM curriculums, the new Weissman Foundry building on Babson College’s campus in Babson Park, Massachusetts is an intentional mashup of a diverse range student interests, but also cultivates collaboration amount students from the neighboring institutions of Olin College and Wellesley College.

This past fall, Windover completed construction of the college’s new 10,000 square-foot facility, which was designed to facilitate collaboration and the transfer of knowledge between entrepreneurs, engineers, academics, and artists among the three college communities.

Collaboration even permeated the construction process. Windover worked closely with architects William Rawn Associates, engineers LeMessurier and Vanderweil, Babson College, and trade partners to ensure procurement, strategize a condensed schedule, and navigate the intricacies of the MEP/HVAC systems.Windover - Babson College Weissman_Credit Bruce Martin (29)

Even the physical materials of the building were designed to work together. The exterior, designed to blend organically with the wooden landscape surrounding the Weissman Foundry, combines curtainwall, metal siding, wood canopies, and a planted green roof. The interior, as the name “Foundry” suggests, has an industrial feel with concrete floors, exposed ductwork, and wood slate ceiling accents and features open spaces divided by louver-operated doors, moveable furniture, and flexible worksurfaces.


For a glimpse into how this new collaborative space was built, check out this time lapse video of the construction of the Weissman Foundry:


photo credit Bruce T. Martin


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