The Williams Bookstore is designed to invigorate a quiet college town’s center, welcoming the public and drawing students to a dynamic, shared community space.
The Bookstore is centrally located in town so as to be easily accessible for students and community members. The first two levels feature retail, flexible seating, study space and a cafe. The third floor houses 5,000 square feet of leased office space.
The store is a center of social engagement; an open floor plan with moveable furniture, walls, and bookshelves permits a variety of programming, including author readings, book signings, private and small-group studying, children’s activities and community meetings. Wood surfaces fold up and around visitors, implying the gentle curve of pages when flipping through a book. These curved wood elements become the organizing features for the vertical circulation, retail experience, and café. Large operable bay windows allow for an indoor-outdoor connectivity to the street edge plaza featuring a serpentine landscape seat wall. On the top floor, an outdoor roof terrace is accessible to the office tenants and allows views up and down Spring Street and to the mountains beyond.
This is a contemporary, LEED Platinum Certified building that faces the future, while respecting local heritage and materiality, instilling new vitality to Williamstown. High efficiency variable refrigerant flow mechanical system, PV array, no fossil fuels, and a high-performance building envelope contribute to achieve an energy use intensity that is 41% better than baseline. Ceiling tiles, gypsum wall board, carpets, and rubber flooring are made of recycled materials. The zinc-coated copper roofing and structural steel also have high percentages of recycled content. Large sinker cypress wood windows with built-in wood grid shading devices create a comfortable interior environment year-round.