Awarded through an invited competition, Chamberlain Hall provides new housing and social spaces for 250 students. Located south of the original quadrangle of this 200-year old private college, the site features an eclectic mix of Victorian houses and a 1960’s era three-building complex dominated by a 16-story residential tower. The siting and confguration of Chamberlain Hall, together with KMW designed Dining Hall Expansion, integrate these disparate elements into a larger campus composition, creating a series of interlocking courtyards, and finally defining the threshold between “town and gown” at the college’s southern boundary.
Chamberlain Hall, the 129-bed, four-story dormitory, is articulated into two wings, reflecting the campus residence hall governing structure, historically comprised of “Houses” of approximately 60-65 students. Linking the wings is a volume which contains the building entry, the main stair and the dormitory's social spaces. Unique to the first floor is a suite combining a commons space, a multi-purpose room, and a small kitchen, architecturally defined to support several simultaneous gatherings or to be used collectively for a large event. Each floor provides a variety of bedroom options intended to attract a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, whose social and privacy preferences vary widely.
The new residential hall references materials and volumetric proportions that unite the historic campus - defined by the original four-story dormitories, called “The Bricks” - with the modern residential complex, whose special water-struck bricks were duplicated for the new construction. Similarly, the distinctive lead-coated copper visors on both new buildings acknowledge the deeply cantilevered roofs of the existing modern structures.
1999 BSA/AIA Honor Award for Design Excellence in Housing
American School & University, 2003 College Planning & Management, 2003 Educational Spaces Vol. 3, 2003 Bowdoin, April 2001 Architecture Boston, 2000