Project Overview

College of William & Mary

Williamsburg, VA

Located on the Coastal Upland of the Virginia Coastal Plain, the College of William & Mary is a campus shaped by the landscape that it inhabits.  Working on individual projects and the Campus Master Plan, Core Studio Design has strived to merge current and future efforts with both the natural and built surroundings.

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The College of William & Mary is located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed between the James and the York Rivers. The higher, older areas in this western part of the Coastal Plain where the College is located are dissected by stream erosion. As a result, the campus topography has a great deal of grade change. The functionality of the landscape at the College of William & Mary is largely a response to this campus geology. On the campus core, building sites and athletic fields have been located on the high plain areas. Crevasses and ravines formed by the network of campus streams are less readily useable and, in large part, have not been developed.


The Fine and Performing Arts Center is adjacent to the College’s SWEM Quad near Andrews Hall and Memorial Hall. Arrival to the arts complex is marked by a broad landscape gesture that defines and unifies the various entrance experiences at each building.  The art corridors between the buildings have spaces along their length for habitation.  Inter-building circulation is emphasized with paving gestures that connect the buildings across these corridors. 

The Campus Master Plan identifies initiatives that will encourage the development of open space as an integral part of all future projects at the College of William & Mary. These initiatives include: the reorganization of existing open spaces, more clearly defining the character of each space as it contributes to the overall campus fabric; preserving the natural topography of the campus and increasing storm water control on-site.

New Fraternity Housing is strung along Ukrop Way at the center of campus.  This creates a unified street front for all of the houses strengthened by the existing road / walkway / tree edge.  Planting is designed to blend into the surrounding landscape.  Sustainable initiatives are incorporated throughout the LEED silver project.  The proposed landscape design follows the College of William & Mary standards including paths, campus furnishings, lighting and plantings.

The landscape design and planning was performed by Betsy Boykin in conjunction with Cannon Design, Moseley Architects, HGA and Treanor Architects.

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