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Belmont’s McWhorter Hall Wins National Award for ESa’s Design

mcwhorterhall-1.jpgBelmont University’s McWhorter Hall—which houses the Schools of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy as well as the Department of Psychological Science—has received a Citation of Excellence Award in the national Learning By Design competition. The annual competition is sponsored by the National School Boards Association and Stratton Publishing and Marketing, Inc.
McWhorter Hall is one of 11 Citations of Excellence Award winners that were deemed the best in the nation by a recognized panel of architects and educational facility specialists. This facility and the other 10 winners will be published in the 20th Anniversary Spring 2011 edition of Learning By Design. Winners were chosen on the basis of innovative design and design excellence.
The academic building, designed by Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. (ESa), maintains the historical architectural style prevalent on the Belmont campus, while containing innovation for which the university has become known. Experiential learning spaces include a sophisticated, licensed campus pharmacy and a clinic that provide services to students, faculty and staff. Interdisciplinary simulation labs add futuristic dimensions to the programs taught within the facility.


Significant sustainable features designed into the building include a 20,000-gallon water storage tank that captures excess ground and storm water for recycling as a campus irrigation source. Surrounding the rooftop cupola are native Tennessee plants comprising the extensive green roof that reduces the urban “heat island effect,” thereby reducing heating/cooling costs. The roof continues Belmont’s efforts to be environmentally responsible. Hodgson & Douglas provided the landscape architectural design for the green roof. R.C. Mathews Contractor served as the project’s general contractor.
ESa, based in Nashville, is a 49-year-old architectural firm practicing throughout the U.S. and globally in the design areas of education, healthcare, hospitality, senior living, corporate office, and the arts & community. Other Belmont campus projects the firm has designed over the years include the recently completed Patton Hall/Bear House residence hall, Maple Hall, the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing Center, the Beaman Student Life Center/ Curb Event Center/Maddox Grand Atrium, Bill & Carole Troutt Theater, Leu Center for the Visual Arts and the Jack C. Massey Business Center.