Davis Center for Human Ecology College of the Atlantic | The Plan
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Davis Center for Human Ecology College of the Atlantic

A Holistic Design Manifesto

Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture · Design

Davis Center for Human Ecology College of the Atlantic

The U.S.’s embrace of sustainability has finally gained momentum, generating impressive results as more and more locally-based architectural firms have adopted the green faith in recent decades. Recently, this has entailed a resilient approach to energy efficiency goals required by various standards and regulations, meeting and exceeding them without sacrificing sophisticated, innovative architectural aesthetics.

Founded in 2017, the New York-based Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture· Design studio is one of the standard-bearers of this new energy-centric approach. Before founding her own practice, Rodriguez acquired considerable experience working with Polshek Partnership and Ennead Architects. Today, a focus on design in the natural world is the common thread that runs through the many projects the firm has worked on, including the Davis Center for Human Ecology presented on these pages.

College of the Atlantic is an institution of higher learning founded in 1969 on the initial wave of interest in the ecology in America. This small educational institution devoted to studying the dialectical relationship between Man and the Environment offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology.

The location the private college’s founders chose is a manifesto in itself, in Maine, at Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, which is also home to Acadia National Park (a 190-sq. km protected land and marine environment established in 1916), and to summer homes belonging to a number of prominent East Coast families. The institution occupies a spur that rises over Frenchman Bay, about a mile from the center of town. Over the years, it has expanded by combining its historical architecture – the heart of the institution is a rural housing facility and granite villa in the French Renaissance style designed by Bruce Price in 1895 – with other elements, the more recent of which place the stylistic onus on...

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