After a desultory generation of mostly insignificant architecture, Bryn Mawr returned to its heritage of significant buildings when it commissioned Kahn to design its first dormitory since the 1930s. Working with Dean Mary Patterson McPherson, Kahn devised a building whose geometry of interlocking squares represented the connectivity of the college community while the palette of materials—blue-gray slate with expressed columns of reinforced concrete—mirrored the hues of Pembroke's great tower that it confronts across a lawn. In every way Kahn's building differs from Cope and Stewardson's masterpiece, but nonetheless, the connection between the two is powerful. Within, poured-in-place concrete walls, stairs, and ceilings are cold but forceful, an image not inappropriate for Bryn Mawr's intellectual realm.
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Eleanor Donnelly Erdman Hall
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