Williamstown, MA – Shawmut Design and Construction has completed renovations to Williams College’s Chapin Hall.
Updates to the 22,244sf venue included new auditorium seating, an adjustable stage to accommodate musical performances of varying sizes, a stage lift, a theatrical lighting package, renovations to existing millwork, and a complete restoration of the existing wood flooring. The team also reconfigured the space to feature two main aisles instead of one, and replaced the outer pews with individual seats. The final phase of the renovation focused on replacing all seating, installing the dual-part stage and piano lift, adding a state-of-the-art sound system, and restoring the ceiling’s historic gold leafing. The stage now sits closer to the audience and will extend into the first seven rows of seating with the extension to improve acoustics during orchestral performances, and the new piano lift allows for it to be lowered directly into basement storage.
In order to restore the auditorium’s original teakwood flooring, the team removed it during construction and reinstalled it once the work was completed. To complete the restoration, the team located original teakwood from the Indonesian island of Java and used a teak veneer over a white oak backer with rosewood inlays and splines. In order to restore the hall’s historic gold leaf ceiling while allowing construction to the hall beneath to continue simultaneously, the team erected a state-of-the-art scaffolding platform spanning 60 feet over the open hall.