Williams College

Davis Center

Project at a Glance

Williamstown, MA


Leers Weinzapfel Associates

Project Type


Project Overview

  • Engagement of a diverse team through minority and women workforce participation and contracting minority-and women-owned businesses
  • Targeting aggressive sustainability goals, including Petal Certification under the Living Building Challenge and strict Energy Use Index targets
  • Mass timber/engineered wood hybrid construction, removal of fossil fuel-based heating systems and installation of all-electric systems

To better function as the intellectual and programmatic center of efforts to expand on an inclusive school community, Williams College called for the transformation of the Davis Center—the school’s center for the advancement of institutional diversity, equity and inclusion. The project consists of a mass timber/engineered wood hybrid addition to Rice House, renovation of Rice and Jenness Houses and demolition of Hardy and Chandler Houses.

The transformed Rice House will feature a new large gathering and event space, student group meeting spaces at a variety of sizes, staff office space to accommodate program growth and improved kitchens for cultural and student group use. The Center will be fully accessible with the addition of an elevator. An addition to the mass timber structure, scope of work includes all new M/E/P/FP systems and sitework utilities and improvements. The Jenness House renovation will include new spaces for the Center’s administrative and staff offices, as well as new M/E/P systems, a LULA-style elevator, envelope improvements and a new kitchenette.

The project is targeting Petal Certification under the Living Building Challenge, as well as strict Energy Use Index targets to reduce energy loads on campus.