Westchester Community College, Gateway Center for English as a Second Language

0424 Westchester Hero

Westchester Community College, Gateway Center for English as a Second Language

Inspired by the College’s commitment to a more accessible education and to an American college experience for recent immigrants to Westchester County, the building is a physical embodiment of the word gateway: an entrance or means of access.

0424 Westchester Hero

The design concept weaves together spaces for learning and community gathering with the enveloping landscape, historical references to the original estate, daylight, local materials and color.

Susan T. Rodriguez, Design Partner
0424 Westchester Dusk

The Gateway Center is a unique educational crossroads and a defining center for campus life. Sited to take advantage of the natural beauty of the campus landscape, the building serves as the threshold to the College and an initial expression of campus identity.

Two academic wings embrace a landscaped courtyard and are connected by a multi-story transparent glass pavilion that serves as the lobby and welcome center. Defined by an aluminum and glass curtainwall assembly supported by a modular system of structural steel elements, the atrium of the glass pavilion is a column-free space and a daylit and transparent environment.

0424 Westchester Approach2
0424 Westchester Landscape

Building materials – fieldstone, zinc, glass, aluminum – both integrate the Center with the existing campus fabric and distinguish it as a new signature building.

0424 Westchester Brise3
0424 Westchester Brise2
0424 Westchester Detail
0424 Westchester Detail3
0424 Westchester Little Book
0424 Westchester Pavilion4
0424 Westchester Pavilion2
0424 Westchester Detail4

This main public interface for visitors to the building and the campus overall employs transparency to embody principles of openness and accessibility, physically expressing the notion of “gateway” and, through it, the community’s access to education and opportunity.

0424 Westchester Detail2
0424 Westchester Classroom
0424 Westchester Circulation
0424 Westchester Cafe
0424 Westchester Hall


Valhalla, NY
70,700 GSF
General Classrooms, Seminar Rooms, Computer Classrooms, Language Labs, Fashion Lab, Business Classrooms, Faculty and Staff Offices, 175-Seat Auditorium, Cafe, Welcome Center


Ennead Design Team
Susan T. Rodriguez, Timothy Hartung, Joanne Sliker, John Zimmer, Patrick Golden, Mathew Bissen, Charles Brainerd, Kyo-Young Jin, Paul Keene, Jörg Kiesow, Harry Park, Marianne Madigan, Craig McIlhenny, Saem Oh, Yekta Pakdaman-Hamedani, Charmian Place, Maura Rogers, Daniel Stube
Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Jock Pottle/Esto, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects


  • 2012
    • Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award
  • 2011
    • Society of American Registered Architects, National Design Award
    • High Honor Award, AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley
    • Merit Award, AIA/New York Chapter
    • Metalmag Architectural Award, Wall Panel Category
    • Award of Excellence, Society of American Registered Architects/New York Council
    • Higher Education/Research Project of the Year, New York Construction Best of 2011
    • Metalmag Architectural Award, Metal Building Category, Umicore Building Projects
    • National Award, American Institute of Steel Construction, IDEAS2 Award


  • 2012
    • Seward, Aaron. "In Detail: New Gateway Center" (Architect's Newspaper, 3/28/2012)
  • 2011
    • Caterino, Jennifer. "Community Colleges" (Architect Magazine, 9/1/2011)
    • Biemiller, Lawrence. "Shop Talk" (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/2/2011)
    • Henry, Christopher. "The Gateway Center, Westchester Community College / Ennead Architects" (archydaily.com, 4/28/2011)
    • Meinhold, Bridgette. "Ennead’s Gateway Center Sustainability Enhances Westchester Community College" (Inhabitat, 3/9/2011)
    • "Ennead’s Gateway Center Honored with LEED Gold Certification" (e-architect, 2/17/2011)
    • "The Gateway Center, Westchester Community College" (e-architect, 2/1/2011)
    • "The Golden Gateway" (WorldArchitectureNews.com, 2/22/2011)
    • Del Percio, Stephen. "Westchester County Wins First LEED Gold Rating for Community College Gateway Center" (greenbuildingsnyc.com, 6/8/2011)
  • 2004
    • Medina, Jennifer. "College Raises Money for a New Building" (Daily News, 11/21/2004)