Swarthmore College’s new Town Center West opened this summer to positive student and community reviews. Cope Linder Architects provided master planning and architectural design for the 45,000-sf mixed-use development that includes the boutique, 40-room Inn at Swarthmore; 3,500 sf of meeting and event space; the Swarthmore Campus + Community store; and the 100-seat Broad Table Tavern.
Cope Linder earned the commission in part by presenting a master planning strategy that fosters community engagement. The concept reworked vehicle and pedestrian pathways to create safer, more inviting access between the college and the Borough of Swarthmore’s retail and regional rail station.
The design conveys the college’s Quaker heritage and complements the pedestrian scale of the community. Innovative design and construction articulate the college’s commitment to sustainability. Designed to LEED Silver standards, the project includes a hybrid wood and steel structure with efficient building envelope. White oak reclaimed from the site is used for floors and furnishings.
An Award-Winning Plan
Earlier this month, Swarthmore Town Center West was honored with the Delaware County Planning Commission William H. Bates Memorial Award for Outstanding Land Development. The honor recognized the project’s excellence in site planning, development practices, and innovative land use techniques.
Cope Linder’s planning strategy established a new south campus gateway, integrating the bookstore, inn, restaurant, and event center with pedestrian pathways, parking, and access to Swarthmore Station. Traffic engineer McMahon & Associates realigned Route 320 and incorporated a new traffic circle. The Inn responds to the circle as a distinctive place-making element. Clear traffic lanes, crosswalks, and green space invite interaction and opportunities for engagement, while ensuring a safer pedestrian environment and establishing a physical and social link between town and gown.