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Hampden-Sydney College
The Carpenters

The Carpenter Dorms represent a reversal in architectural thinking from the modern-federal blend of the 1980’s Alphabets back to a Collegiate Federal style building. Designed by Calloway Johnson Moore, PA Architecture and constructed in two phases during the 1990s, these buildings are based upon the same building footprint and floor plans, however, each building has a slightly different massing.


Though charming from the exterior, the interiors of the Carpenters leave much to be desired. The floor plan was designed to be extremely efficient in space usage. Bedrooms are placed along the outside walls and open into an internal hallway that wraps a center core of bathrooms. However, once inside the corridors, the mass of the building surrounding you is oppressive and no natural light penetrates to the inner core, making the corridors and bathrooms feel gloomy. As part of the updated H-SC Residence Hall Master Plan, MCWB recommended refreshing finishes along with a more dramatic architectural intervention to make the best of the existing structures.


After completing the Master Plan, MCWB further developed the dramatic architectural intervention by proposing to relocate the bathrooms to one corner of the building, stacked on each floor, thereby freeing up the space in the middle of the floor plan. In this space, an atrium with an open stair rising from first floor would give access all the way to the third-floor level. Two lounge spaces would be created, one at first floor and one at second, with the second floor open to a skylight in the roof. This configuration allows natural light to pour through the building interior all the way to the main entrance. By adding the new stair, the existing stair shaft can be used to install an elevator, making all floors universally accessible.

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