Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has been commissioned by Williams College to complete a program and masterplan study for the Williams College Department of Art and Museum of Art (WCMA). "The Master Plan aims to evaluate programming and space needs toward the determination of a program to catalyze the engagement of students, faculty and visitors with the visual arts," says SHA.
After talking with nearly 30 distinct groups of students, faculty and museum staff, SHA defined five main goals in which the study is based on:
- Expand William College’s art presence in the region;
- Connect the arts across campus;
- Shape campus space, connecting interior to exterior;
- Make architecture in complementary relation to the picturesque campus;
- Create inspiring spaces for teaching and exhibiting art.
“Historically one of the most important launching institutions for museum leaders around the world, Williams College extends its dedication to excellence in art education with this new campus development phase,” said Steven Holl.
“It is a great honor to work with the College to enhance the research and teaching spaces of the art department, and to expand WCMA’s unique role as a teaching museum and a regional center for public intellectual life,” added Senior Partner Chris McVoy.
The commissioners selected Holl for his extensive background in arts, campus and education facilities. Some of SHA's most notable projects include The Glasgow School of Art's Seona Reid Building, Columbia University's Campbell Sports Center, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and Simmons Hall at MIT. In addition to this, the practice has eight projects currently under construction, such as the Virginia Commonwealth University's Institute for Contemporary Art, the Glassell School of Art, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Expansion, The Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton, and the University of Iowa's Visual Arts Building.