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LEED-Certified Bookstore Houses More Than Books

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

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The Williams College bookstore, located in Massachusetts, is more than just a space for books—with structure and furnishing design provided by architects CambridgeSeven, the LEED Platinum-certified space also provides room for programming, offices and community engagement.

The 14,257-square-foot, three-story structure features two-story windows, two stories of retail space, a café with both indoor and outdoor seating, private office space and a conference room. According to The Berkshire Eagle, the bookstore was designed with a community focus in mind.

LEED Platinum-Certified Bookstore

Local materials such as granite and brick compose the building’s exterior. A glazing-to-wall ratio of 24 percent, an exterior brise soleil for enhanced thermal protection and insulated glass with integral wood louvers all contribute to an Energy Use Intensity rating of 39 for the structure.

The building’s stormwater management system includes utilities such as a rain garden and deep sump catch basins to keep water runoff at pre-development levels. The Williams College bookstore also only uses electricity, no gas. In the interior, birch plywood ceilings are visually reminiscent of the open pages of a book. 

According to The Berkshire Eagle, the bookstore’s first floor houses a selection of fiction and nonfiction books alike, as well as the cafe, which can be partitioned off with fabric-paneled hidden doors for programming. Along the south side of the building, a gathering space implements rolling display cases that can be moved to create a 50-seat lecture space.

“It was a very conscious decision by the committee that was formed to help design this store that the first floor be a welcoming floor for the whole community, not just the students,” said Mary Dettloff, a spokesperson for Williams College.

The second floor carries college merchandise and course materials, and is also furnished with a conference room with retractable glass walls; this can create additional retail space to accommodate the beginning-of-semester textbook rush.

The bookstore opened in August. CambridgeSeven’s Stefanie Greenfield was the principal lead for the project.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Design build; LEED

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