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Fort Bradshaw

Williams College

Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts

Period: 1931

Fort Bradshaw (formerly Fort Hoosac) is a Tudor Revival building originally designed as a fraternity house for Phi Sigma Kappa by Grosvenor Sterling Wright. In 1966 ownership of the house was transferred to Williams College and today Fort Bradshaw (The Fort) is home to 12 students in The Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

The building is constructed of terracotta block and brick exterior bearing walls with wood framed floors and roof. The roofs are slate with copper flashings and gutters.  The main elevation has a bay window with crenellated parapets form the living room and a copper clad oriel window at the second floor stair landing.  The entrance arch consists of a four-centered Tudor arch.  The north and south elevations each contain two large articulated brick chimneys. The building is distinctive owing to these architectural features and also for its adjacency to the Grad Art program’s partner and collaborator, The Clark Art Institute. 

The scope of the project included renovation of the interior and exterior, including full accessibility with a new elevator, egress stair and accessible bedrooms and bathrooms. The project included a new addition to the west with a kitchen and dining room on the ground floor and bedrooms on the upper floors.  The addition was designed to blend with the existing architecture, matching the existing brick color, size and texture, and repeating architectural forms with parapets, gabled end, dormers and oriel window.

Upgrades to the building envelope were planned to achieve high thermal performance, including new fiberglass windows, insulation and air barrier. The slate roof was replaced and a sub-slab drain system was installed below the basement floor. All interior finishes have been restored or replaced.

Critical to the success of the project, included the ability to eliminate on-site combustion as a source of energy, work included replacing all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and security systems. 

The project achieved LEEDv4 Gold and Living Building Challenge Petal Certification in Health and Happiness, Equity and Materials as well as Imperatives 01 & 20.  In an effort to support the College’s goal of 35% campus wide carbon reduction of 1990 carbon emissions levels by 2020 the project also followed Williams College’s own Green Gauges program with a targeted site EUI of 30 kBTU/yr/gsf.

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