Frederick Fisher and Partners Frederick Fisher and Partners

What’s INN at the Institute for the Liberal Arts?

Author: Summer Stuckey, Frederick Fisher and Partners

Vassar College is in the planning and design stages of a new Inn and Institute for the Liberal Arts. The 48,000 sq ft project will include 50 guest rooms, a restaurant, and convening space. The site is located just outside of the campus walls in a picturesque park adjacent to the historic Alumnae House. The project vision creates a space for faculty, students, innovators, leaders, and communities to exchange ideas and foster thoughtful dialogue, but also a social space connecting to town.

FF&P’s concept design combines contextual sensitivity, functionality, and an authentic expression of Vassar’s philosophical ideals. Providing an indoor-outdoor connection by creating natural light, views of the campus, and landscape. Vassar will also maintain the park-like atmosphere surrounding the historic campus. The design of the building preserves the domestic scale of the surrounding neighborhood by breaking the program into discrete elements; a three-story gable roof Inn, a two-story Institute with a restaurant below, and a glass lobby to create notion of a public living room.

Aerial rendering of the Institute for the Liberal Arts and Inn

The landscape design creates a welcoming approach with fully accessible pathways and highlights native plant species and on-site water filtration. Vassar holds a deep commitment to sustainability and green building practices which is foregrounded in the building’s high energy efficiency, well day-lit spaces, and the use of natural materials. FF&P is hopeful to break ground in July of 2020 and aiming for the project to be completed by July 2022.