Tucker Hall, College of William & Mary
Local > AIA Potomac Valley > Institutional Architecture (AIA Potomac Valley)
- Merit Award
PROJECT Tucker Hall, College of William & Mary
LOCATION Williamsburg, Virginia, United States
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 6/1/2014
ARCHITECT Cunningham | Quill Architects
OWNER/CLIENT The College of William & Mary
CONTRACTOR / CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Donley's
PHOTOGRAPHER Chris Cunningham
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN TEAM Lee Quill, FAIA; Phoebe Larson, AIA, LEED AP; Anton Markin
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
Historic Tucker Hall is located in the heart of the Old Campus portion of the College of William & Mary, directly adjacent to the Sir Christopher Wren Building, dating back to the late 17th century. With such a prominent neighbor and a central and historic location, Tucker Hall needed a renovation respectful of its gracious and traditional exterior. The interior of the building, however, was in need of a new vision.
Tucker Hall has a rich history, like the town and campus that surround it. It was originally constructed in 1908 as the College’s first library building. In 1923 it doubled in size with an addition on the north side and in 1938, it was expanded yet again with a three-story addition in the center of the H. In the 1960s Tucker Hall was converted to the Law School and experienced a major interior conversion, chopping up the library’s grand spaces in favor of faculty offices, assorted classrooms and a moot courtroom. When the Law School moved out in 1980, Tucker Hall then became home to the English Department.
When the time came for a modern renovation, the project team honed in on primary elements for a reimagined Tucker Hall: respecting and preserving the exterior facade, restoring its remaining interior historical elements such as the Stair Hall and Cupola, creating a new clarity in the circulation of the building, and allowing more light and visual connections in its spaces.
Two primary concepts for the design and renovation were to create visual connections between spaces and to allow light into the heart of the building to banish the previous “rabbit warren” atmosphere. Both of these goals were accomplished with the restoration and opening up of the previously closed off cupola as well as the creation of a new Tiered Lounge in the heart of the building on the second floor. The design team maintained the Stair Hall as an entry lobby but created a new visibility to the classrooms on either side. The design’s restoration and opening up of the previously obstructed cupola above the third floor not only allows light down into the heart of the building below, but also creates a wonderful pausing place of a more intimate scale at the newly created library. The Tiered Lounge is a place of connection and congregation for students to study in, to use for presentations and gatherings, and to allow open continuity between previously disconnected floor levels.
Working closely with the College’s Facilities Management team and the English Department faculty, the design team also recognized the need for accessibility throughout, incorporation of environmentally sustainable elements, and the creation of new spaces for student gathering and student-professor interaction. Tucker Hall opened for class in 2013 and was completed in 2014. It has been awarded LEED Gold for sustainability.
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IMAGE CAPTIONS & CREDITS
IMAGE 1 TuckerHall_high res ext.jpg, Restored Exterior of Tucker Hall, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 2 TuckerHall_high res int.jpg, Restored Interior Stair Hall, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 3 TuckerHall_1.jpg, New Tiered Student Lounge and Restored Cupola, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 4 TuckerHall_2.jpg, New Reconfigured Tucker Theater, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 5 TuckerHall_3.jpg, Restored Seminar Room, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 6 TuckerHall_4.jpg, Restored and Newly Opened Cupola, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 7 TuckerHall_5.jpg, New Breakout Space for Student and Professor Interaction, © Chris Cunningham Photography
IMAGE 8 TuckerHall_6.jpg, New Library and Study Area at Restored Cupola, © Chris Cunningham Photography