Williams College - Williamstown, MA
Williams College understands the symbiotic responsibility to its bucolic Berkshire hometown. So, the College chose to move the campus bookstore into Williamstown’s commercial center to help reinvigorate the new location with a shared community asset. They also understand their responsibility to the environment, so the new building also had to meet zero-net energy goals and minimally, LEED Platinum certification.
As the three-story building would occupy a prominent corner along the Town’s main street, attention was paid to integrate the façade and form with complementary materials and massing. Special consideration was given to respect and enhance the views of the surrounding mountains and also engage street life.
Visible and enticing, a reading room and cafe are the focus of the first floor, welcoming residents, visitors, students and faculty. The flexible retail area caters to both scholastic and bestseller lists and can be transformed into a 40-seat space for events. The third floor is leased as office space. The design is inviting and dynamic, using local materials and sustainable systems. It has become the bustling ‘third space’ that the College and Town had envisioned and a catalyst for future development.
A little gem of a building that enhances its community and exclaims its youthful vitality simultaneously.AS&U Awards Jury