Vassar College,
Poughkeepsie NY

DBA is pleased to formally announce that it has been retained to provide architectural assessment, programming, and planning services for Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. The work will include assessing, programming, and planning for upgrades to the historic 1903 Thomson Library and adjacent library buildings.


The Thompson Library is one of the most recognizable buildings on campus and a critical asset to the fundamental principles of Vassar College. As Vassar continues to develop as a preeminent liberal arts college, the building, that has been underutilized in recent history, has a unique opportunity to refocus its purpose and engage academics and student life well into the future. An improved library experience can fundamentally transform key areas of the building by elevating the user experience through improved access, visibility, and use and will create a functional, coherent, and transformative community space that serves Vassar students well into the 21st century.

The planning study aims to provide the college with a thoughtful analysis of existing spaces, a reinterpretation of the existing program, and a practical and creative re-planning of the library’s interior and exterior spaces. The effort will include student engagement, stakeholder, and senior administration workshops to garner support and build consensus for the project. The outcome of the study will result in an informed recommendation for architectural solutions to each location, estimated budget requirements for future construction, and improved opportunities for fundraising and financial support.


“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the team at Vassar College on this project and to have the opportunity to reinterpret the way Vassar will use this important asset. We are thankful to Vassar for trusting us with this important responsibility,” says David Burke, Principal, and Founder of DBA. “Higher Education is a sector in which we feel extremely comfortable. Our team at DBA has spent much of our professional career designing and building structures that serve the needs of students and faculty and that enable enhanced student experiences for growth and flexibility on campuses nationwide. This opportunity at Vassar allows us to continue that important work.”