Williams College's Sawyer Library Named 1 of 7 Most Beautiful In North America

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- If you were to walk into the Sawyer Library at Williams College, you might think you stumbled into a museum or a new-age office building. The stunning architecture and design stands out so much that it was named one of the seven most beautiful libraries in North America.

"This is, in terms of academic buildings and library construction, this is highest award that there is," said Williams College Libraries Director Dave Pilachowski.

The American Library Association and the American Institute for Architects hand-picked seven libraries, from Toronto to Washington State, that evoke a standout redesign of the traditional library; a criteria Williams College aced. 

"We got to renovate and bring back to life the original 1923 college library," said Pilachowski. "The restoration has been very well-received by the campus community. Alumni just light up when they walk into that space."

Sure, the design of the library is flashy, but everything serves a purpose. At each individual window on the east side of the building is a private desk that a senior can rent out for his or her own use every semester. If you're lucky enough to sign up and reserve one, it won't cost you a thing.

"The wide-open vistas, all the natural light, it's a kind of space that you want to be in," said Pilachowski.

The library's original marble, brick and mortar meet today's tech, along with unique architecture and innovation. Past and present are melded together to make what's typically the most mundane part of campus the place to be.

"Hopefully, it evokes tranquility, thoughtfulness, knowledge [and a] range of intellectual and knowledge-based materials," said Pilachowski.

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