Oechsle Center for Global Education, Lafayette College
Easton, Pennsylvania

The building’s transparency is suggestive and representative of its inner life—to promote an enlightened world view, cultivate global citizenship and encourage engagement across programs and disciplines. The building’s layout encourages cross-pollination of ideas among students and faculty in different programs. The Oechsle Center accepts and celebrates that there are different styles of learning and teaching. This engagement can be students working in groups, and faculty and students meeting spontaneously in the varied spaces in the building. Walls can be moved and furniture is flexible and easily reconfigured. A group of students can occupy a space and customize it to their own particular study and social needs.

A new gateway to Lafayette College, The Oechsle Center establishes Global Education as a symbol of academic innovation and curricular relevance, and its architecture and interiors support this pedagogical goal. The exterior forms a point of mediation between Lafayette and the wider Easton community beyond. It is elongated along the East/West Axis while having major fenestration along the North and South facades. A glass atrium, conceived as part of the larger campus pathways, joins two wings and the building’s massing and scale are broken up by use of perpendicular gables and dormer-like windows on the third level.

A rich use of materials celebrates the building’s dual local and global identities. The exterior granite is quarried regionally and is a lively and elegant gray hue with varied highlights of tan and blue. Its ashlar pattern ties it to Lafayette College building traditions. Inside, several “Global Wood Walls” celebrate the Center’s audacious global aspirations. The reclaimed wood is used based on the population of each continent. The wood was reclaimed from sources as diverse as shipping pallets, winery casks and rail yards.




18,400 SF New Construction


Photography by Halkin Mason Photography