Brooklyn-based structure studio SO–IL has been tapped to design a brand new residence for the Williams Faculty Museum of Artwork (WCMA) on the campus of Williams Faculty in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Though the museum itself was first established in 1926, the museum’s artwork assortment—now numbering greater than 15,000 works—has been housed in a piece of Lawrence Corridor, which served as the school’s first library constructing, since 1851. The present museum area has been expanded a modest handful of instances, together with within the Twenties and 30s and throughout the Eighties when Charles Moore led the design of a significant, column-famous addition.
The forthcoming facility designed by SO–IL will likely be constructed on the previous website of the outdated Williams Inn, which was demolished by Williams Faculty in 2020, and function the primary standalone facility for the WCMA. Per a press announcement, the brand new museum constructing will likely be designed as a “collaborative work surroundings” and provide “substantial” gallery area for the WCMA’s rising assortment together with devoted area for group gatherings and “services for straightforward entry to collections for scholar, college, and visiting scholar requests.”
Williams Faculty first introduced “the numerous years within the making” plans for a brand new WCMA constructing on the Williams Inn website in October of final 12 months.
“We’re honored to be working with the Williams group to check the brand new Williams Faculty Museum of Artwork, a mission the brings collectively our ardour for the humanities with our dedication to schooling,” stated SO-IL co-founders Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg in a press release. “The brand new museum will join the campus to the bigger cultural ecosystem of the Northern Berkshires and supply a possibility to advance progressive, sustainable constructing and museum practices, providing college students invaluable experience in accountable stewardship. We’re tremendously grateful to be working alongside a staff of the very best college students, college and professionals as we embark on this thrilling endeavor.”
SO–IL was chosen to develop the conceptual design for the brand new constructing by Williams Faculty President Maud S. Mandel following the advice of a 12-person Architect Choice Committee, which initially thought-about a longlist of 40 nationwide and worldwide structure corporations earlier than narrowing the candidates to a shortlist of 4. “Whereas the caliber and creativity of all of the shortlisted candidates had been awe-inspiring, SO-IL’s ingenious and enthusiastic method to our museum’s instructing mission stood out,” stated Mandel. “We’re assured we now have made the very best resolution for Williams.”
“We’re delighted to accomplice with an thrilling new voice within the architectural subject to create a design that captivates and educates the artwork world of tomorrow,” added WCMA Director Pamela Franks. “With SO-IL, we now have a agency that completely matches the profile of our museum: deeply engaged with the humanities and lecturers, dedicated to collaborating with college students, related to the Berkshires group, and delicate to the beloved pure panorama of our area.”
As detailed by the Faculty, at present’s announcement was knowledgeable by a two-year planning and programming research carried out in session with Deborah Berke Companions. In parallel with design work for the brand new WCMA facility, there are additionally plans to launch a programming research of Lawrence Corridor that considers the historic constructing’s “complementarities with the brand new museum and perceive its full potential as an arts and tutorial area,” per the Faculty.
The conceptual design course of is anticipated to take eight months and at its conclusion will go earlier than the school’s Board of Trustees for approval. Pending approval from the board, the mission will proceed “in alignment” with the WCMA’s centennial of 2026–2027. AN will present additional updates as soon as visuals and additional particulars of the brand new constructing are unveiled.
The WCMA mission isn’t the one main effort underway on the historic campus of the 229-year-old New England non-public liberal arts school; earlier this 12 months, Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates shared its plans for its vital refresh and enlargement of the Davis Middle, a longtime hub of range, fairness, and inclusion at Williams.