Spencer Studio Art Building, Williamstown, MA (1993-1996)
The 40,000 sq. ft. building consolidates the various studio and classroom spaces - originally scattered throughout the college campus - into a single unifying structure. Sited at the farthest southeast section of the campus, the art building enjoys some of the most amazing views of the surrounding Berkshire mountains. The design integrates these views wherever possible as a vital component of the life of the building. The partial U-shaped plan brackets with its two wings a south-facing courtyard. The studios are distributed according to their need of light and height, thus all painting and drawing studios face north, and the sculpture studio is located at the end of a slope to increase the height of the space. The two and three story building is a direct result of fitting a dense program across a difficult topography constrained by strict setbacks. The site-specific structure does not telegraph the tensions present in the site but rather integrates them as a natural set of circumstances.