Vassar College | Poughkeepsie, New York
Built in 1902 and designed by York & Sawyer, Swift Hall originally served as the infirmary but was converted into offices and classrooms for the History Department in 1941. However, the building was poorly configured, no longer able to fit the entire faculty, inhospitable to those in wheelchairs, and no longer providing an adequate environment for working or learning in the 21st century.
VMA restored and renovated the building to improve the quality of its interior spaces while increasing accessibility and restoring the historic exterior. We reorganized the interior to provide additional offices to accommodate the full faculty, simplify circulation, and create a new emergency exit from the third floor. Damaged plaster was repaired and reconstructed, original baseboards and doors were replicated, and the original wood windows were restored for improved energy efficiency. The small entry porch was removed and rebuilt with an expanded footprint that could accommodate a new ramp, subtly integrated into the surrounding landscape, which provided an accessible entrance at the front of the building while maintaining its historic character.
Landscape completed in association with Michael Van Valkenburgh Assoc.
Size: 10,500 sf
Budget: $3 million
Architecture, Interior Design, Historical Preservation, Landscape