Butler College Dormitories, Princeton University

With its undulating brick facade, landscaped courtyards, and generous public walkway, Butler College connects with Princeton’s rich Collegiate Gothic tradition in a fresh and lively way.

The 288-bed complex is clad in varying-colored red brick, accented with both continuous and randomly placed bands of limestone. Responding to the need for larger bedrooms on upper-level suites, the facades are further animated with wavelike undulations that expand and contract according to interior use.

The surrounding site is sculpted into a split-level landscape, with both upper- and lower-level courtyards connecting to the existing Butler Commons. New pedestrian paths and vistas enrich the campus while extending the long tradition of space-shaping buildings at Princeton.

Show Facts

In the southwest quadrant of the historic campus


112,000 ft2 / 10,000 m2 gross area; five dormitories within two buildings; café, study library, lounge, gallery, seminar rooms, landscaped courtyards


Princeton University Office of Design and Construction

PCF&P Services

Master planning, architecture, exterior envelope, interior design


Designed for LEED certification


Brick in Architecture Awards: Silver Award, Education
Brick Industry Association, 2011

Design Awards: Merit Award, Campus Housing
Residential Architect, 2011

Outstanding Design
American School & University, 2013

Golden Trowel Award
International Masonry Institute / Masonry Contractors of New Jersey / Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers of New Jersey, 2009

Award of Merit, Education
American Concrete Institute, New Jersey Chapter, 2010

Construction Excellence Awards: Best Specialty Contractor Project
General Building Contractors Association, 2010

The complex has been carefully conceived in scale, material, and detail to offer dormitory space in an architectural form characterized by warmth, eventfulness, and informality.
The east wing encloses the south-facing Memorial Courtyard, designed as an amphitheater. Two additional lower-level courtyards similarly provide access and daylight to Butler Commons.
High-efficiency low-E glazing allows natural light to illuminate most of the interior spaces, while more than half of the facility’s roof area consists of environmentally friendly green roofs.
Project Credits

Landscape: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., Brooklyn, NY; Structural: Leslie E. Roberston Associates, New York; Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing: Vanderweil Engineering, Lawrenceville, NJ; Lighting: Cosentini Associates / One Lux Studio, New York; Images:, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Bob Taylor / Times Herald, Jon Roemer