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Kim and Tritton Residence Halls, Haverford College

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners


Haverford College

Project Status


Year Completed



43,000 sq. feet
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Text by John Morris Dixon, FAIA

Hired to add 160 student rooms to the Haverford College campus, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners quickly discovered that the commission came with distinctive conditions. For one thing, the school’s Quaker traditions called for consensus-building, and the students’ preference for low buildings with single rooms became a determinant.

The beauty of the campus landscape was impressive, but this particular site included landfill that required significant soil remediation. The resulting excess soil was shaped into a berm between two rectangular two-story structures, turning a challenge into an opportunity. The visually appealing berm provides direct upper-level access to both buildings by a variety of ramps and bridges, thus eliminating the need for elevators or fire stairs.

Inside the buildings, student rooms are laid out along the perimeter, around common areas rather than corridors. The roughly textured brown brick of the building exteriors is repeated in a lighter color in the interior common spaces, along with a variety of wood battens, colorful ceramic tiles, and felt panels in custom patterns.

A central courtyard in each building provides protected outdoor space, and sliding glass doors in the adjacent lounges open into the courtyards when weather permits. The result is a residential complex where both buildings and landscape enhance the student experience.

Project Credits

Project: Kim and Tritton Residence Halls, Haverford, Pa.
Client: Haverford College
Architect of Record: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, New York . Tod Williams, FAIA, Billie Tsien, AIA (partners-in-charge/designers); Paul Schulhof, AIA (partner); John Skillern (project architect); Denise Lee (assistant project architect); Shengning Zhang, Aaron Korntreger, Thomas Offord (project team)
Contractor: W.S. Cumby
Structural Engineer: Severud Associates
M/E/P Engineer: AltieriSeborWieber Consulting Engineers
Civil Engineer: Hunt Engineering
Geotechnical Engineer: David Blackmore & Associates
Landscape Architects: Mathews Nielsen
Lighting Designer: Tillotson Design Associates
Code Consultant: Hughes Associates
Waterproofing Consultant: James R. Gainfort Consulting Architects
Mason: Thompson Masonry Contracting
Millwork: J.E. Scholtz Custom Millwork
Upholstery/Wallcoverings: Liora Manne
Metalwork: Miller Metalcraft
Size: 43,000 gross square feet on a 2.9-acre site
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