Amherst College – Williston Hall

The conversion of Williston Hall (1858) from a classroom building to a residence hall was one of the first components of Amherst’s Residential Master Plan. The building provides a residence for 36 freshman students and includes a house commons on the first floor as well as common spaces and niches on the upper floors. The existing chestnut floor and roof framing was recycled to provide plank flooring for this project as well as North and South Colleges. The building is fully accessible and code compliant. The scope of work included a new elevator, main stair and exit stair. Common rooms are integrated with the halls and stairs to promote interaction. The main stair is enclosed with glass to foster a visual connection between students. Windows at the common rooms provide natural light to the halls and views to the surrounding campus. Nooks are located at the ends of the halls and provide spaces that offer more privacy for quiet reading or study. The original chestnut floor framing lumber was recycled to provide a supply of plank flooring for all three buildings. The architectural detailing of the interiors provides a sense of the historic character of the building.