SustainabilityLiving Building Challenge - Petal Certification
For more than three decades, the Davis Center has been the physical, intellectual, and programmatic heart of campus-wide efforts to build inclusive community on Williams’ campus. The reimagined 26,350 sf Davis Center encompasses a major new addition, as well comprehensive renovations of the beloved Rice and Jenness Houses, creating a center with universal access and increased space to accommodate Minority Coalition (MinCo) student gatherings, meetings, dialogue, classes, socializing, and studying.
Designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates in collaboration with J. Garland Enterprises, the new and renovated 25,350 sf Davis Center will welcome everyone, with a particular focus on those from historically underrepresented identities. With modernized space built for current and future needs, the Davis Center will be a dynamic and effective hub for the education, activism, community building, academic exploration, well-being, and celebration that happens within. It will provide the space for students to dream bigger dreams about a more inclusive Williams as well as a more inclusive society.
The new addition reflects the domestic scale of the neighboring Rice and Jenness Houses, with an open, glazed ground floor that acts as an invitation to broad campus engagement. A dynamic roofscape references the peaks and valleys of the mountain ranges that surround the College. The Center houses a new large gathering and event space to host the wide range of Davis Center programs, 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. Beyond the program itself, the Davis Center sought spaces that were connected instead of siloed in separate buildings, that emphasized both physical and culturally access, and that reflected the mission of the Center.
Pursuing Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, the Davis Center creates a bold and vivid expression of Williams’ commitment to cultivating a community that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.