Project File: Embodying tradition

The boathouse project at Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., involved a 13,500-square-foot addition and renovations to the existing 30,000-square-foot 1887 rowing facility alongside Carnegie Lake.

The new complex, C. Bernard Shea Rowing Center, features a 16-person rowing tank, a repair bay, seven boat bays and four workout spaces with tall windows. A central tower is the focal point of the remodeled facility and serves as the primary entry. The gallery extends to the west and overlooks the lake. It features historical photographs and the refurbished Club Room, which has trophy cases, video facilities, coaching staff offices, lounge seating and improved lighting.

The most dramatic architectural elements in the new rowing center are the laminated timber exposed trusses, which frame the roof and create interior spaces evocative of the tradition associated with rowing and boathouses. The curved “Queen Post” trusses have double 10½-inch top- and bottom-laminated chord. Laminated columns, rather than the outside block walls, carry the weight of the roof.

Architect for the project is Architectural Resources Cambridge, Inc. (Mass.). John Born & Associates (Cambridge) is structural engineer.

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