Principia College in Elsah, Illinois is presenting a special exhibition of selected architectural renderings from the Bernard Maybeck and White Collection of the Principia Archives. These rarely seen pastels and gouache originals reveal Bernard Maybeck’s hand in capturing the vision and beauty of the Principia campus. In 2001 Mackey Mitchell received an AIA/CPC Honor Award for Sustainable Design for the Watson Science Building addition, which honored the old historic campus with the newest concepts in sustainability. The primary challenge lay in finding a way to absorb 51,000 square-feet of new space into an addition that would not overwhelm the scale of the original building.
At the time, the new Science Center was viewed to be the school’s most ambitious and complex project since ten distinct programs had to be housed together. The first architect hired by the school had proposed demolition of several sections of Maybeck’s original buildings. Quite literally, on the eve of demolition, Principia concluded this first solution was not right. They halted the project, dismissed the first architect and hired Mackey Mitchell to take on the challenge. According to Prinicpia representatives, “Mackey Mitchell had an understanding and appreciation of historical architecture and created a structure that provides harmony between the old and new.”