Williams College Paresky Center

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Williams College Paresky Center

The place where everyone meets, sees and is seen, the Paresky Student Center creates a dynamic crossroads at a pivotal location on campus, contributing to a greater sense of community.

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[The building] fulfills the ambitions of its many creators, not only us architects, but our thoughtful, creative and demanding clients. They have imbued it with the character that is unique to Williams, made sure we understood what that meant, and helped it take its place at the center of student life. At last the Paresky Center has joined the conversation on Chapin Lawn.

Richard Olcott, Design Partner

On Chapin Lawn, the central green space on Williams’ historic campus, the building is a focal point for campus social life, providing space for formal and informal dining, meetings, gatherings, performances, and study and lounge areas.

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The new building achieves a balance: in its material quality it relates and scale to the College’s building traditions, while in its forms and massing it establishes a forward-looking architectural identity emblematic of the College’s progressive future.

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The design reinforces the principal east-west and north-south student pedestrian traffic patterns to create a dynamic and vital crossroads of student life.

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A double-height central space inspired by the rustic construction, comfortable furnishings, generous proportions and open fireplaces of the great nineteenth-century national parks lodges, organizes the building. In the New England tradition, a double-height porch provides a welcoming portico and gathering space, usable through most of the year.

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The extensive use of local materials such as wood from Williams’ own forests, Vermont slate, brick and cast stone, all resonate with past and present Williams’ buildings.

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Details

Year
2007
Location
Williamstown, MA
Size
90,000 GSF
Program
Snack Bar, Main Dining Facility, Game Room, Great Hall, Cinema, Pub

Team

Design Partner
Richard Olcott
Management Partner
Duncan Hazard
Project Manager
M. Gregory Clawson
Project Architect
M. Gregory Clawson
Project Designer
Stephen P-D Chu
Design Team
Jack Allin, Howard Chu, Youngsun Ko, Mark Pisani, Faye Premer, Michael Regan, Hyunkil Son

Press

  • 2007
    • Gorelov, Jacob. "Paresky gets two thumbs up" (The Williams Record, 2/21/2007)
    • Marcisz, Christopher. "Campus living room" (The Berkshire Eagle, 2/16/2007)
    • Korman, Amanda. "Looking through walls: a glimpse into Paresky" (The Williams Record, 2/14/2007)
    • "Polshek Parternship Architects Design Student Center" (on-wire.com, 7/6/2007)
  • 2006
    • Procter, Jo. "Williams Renews its Campus and Facilities During Summer Break" (iBerkshires.com, 9/19/2006)

Consultants

Structural
Silman
MEP
ads ENGINEERS
Civil
Guntlow & Associates
Landscape
Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc.
Lighting
Brandston Partnership, Inc.
Graphics
Poulin + Morris, Inc.
Acoustics/AV/Telecommunications/Data
Shen Milsom & Wilke
Security
Ducibella Venter & Santore
Specifications
Robert Schwartz & Associates
Sustainable Design
Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Curtainwall
Heintges & Associates
Exterior Envelope
James R. Gainfort Consulting Architects, P.C.
Food Service
Ricca Design Studios
Elevator
Iros Elevator Design Services, Inc., van Zelm, Heywood & Shadford, Inc.
Geotechnical
Gifford Engineering
General Contractor
Bread Loaf Corporation
Photography
Richard Barnes, Alan Karchmer/Alan Karchmer Architectural Photography, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects, James Westphalen