Wallace Social Sciences Building

Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

The 75,000 square foot Wallace Social Sciences Building consolidates the Woodrow Wilson School community into a unified group of constituents where faculty and students come together to teach, work and learn from one another. The cornerstone of the new facility is a library which joins the unique collections of the Office of Population Studies with the School's library which was formerly located in Robertson Hall. The new library features fully integrated computer technologies that allow a dynamic interactive connectivity throughout the Princeton campus and to the world beyond.

The Wallace building symbolizes the Woodrow Wilson School's role in the study of geopolitics. Located at the fulcrum of the University's east campus, the new building completes an ensemble of buildings including Robertson, Fisher/Bendheim and Corwin Halls and marks the beginning of a newly formalized McCosh Walk interlocking the eastern side of campus.

The building sits at an important north/south pedestrian crossing connecting the eating clubs and lower campus with Nassau street at the top of campus. The main entry of the Wallace Building is at this crossroads and marks the beginning of McCosh Walk "east." It is designed to be a transparent, active circulation place filled with people during the day and a brightly lit beacon at night.

The main floor of the building houses the Sociology Department. A large, two story open well connects the main entry way to the library on the lower level. The lower level houses the information infrastructure of the building with computer clusters and two "smart" classrooms. The library has a raised floor system that allows for flexibility in layout and changes in technology. It faces south towards a landscaped garden that brings light and views into the space.

The upper levels of the building house faculty offices in suites with research assistant carrel areas integrated into the mixture, allowing a convenient, close, and yet distinct relationship between faculty and students. These are quiet sanctuaries for work and collaboration between faculty, students and staff. A special meeting room on the upper floor is used for seminars and special events. All occupants of the building enjoy natural light, long vistas and views of the surrounding landscape and campus activity.

The Wallace Building can easily adapt to change, responding to the ebb and flow of departmental sizes and needs as well as to advances in technology. The building responds to the global need for energy efficiency and the use of environmentally friendly materials and comfort giving building systems. Most importantly however, this building brings the Woodrow Wilson community together in light filled space, creating a dynamic setting for the education of future public leaders and the production of research that informs and improves public policy.


2001 Merit Award
AIA Pennsylvania
2001 Award of Recognition
AIA Philadelphia
2001 Best in Category: Advanced Educational Projects
International Masonry Institute, New Jersey Branch
2001 Golden Trowel Award
International Masonry Institute, New Jersey Branch
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