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Hobson College

Poised to redefine the residential college experience at Princeton, Hobson College embodies a forward-looking vision and embraces the university's growing diversity at the heart of its historic campus.

Hobson College is set to become a vibrant epicenter on Princeton University's campus, replacing the 1960's era First College (formerly Wilson College), and welcoming 510 resident students into its fold. Funded by a generous gift from Mellody Hobson, the project aims to mirror and embrace the University's evolving diversity, enriching the foundational Residential College system that underpins undergraduate life at Princeton. This initiative seeks to actualize a shared vision: a diverse, inclusive community where living, learning, socializing, and dining intersect to enrich students’ intellectual and social experiences.

"To design a new Residential College that will serve the “vision of the future,” and support an increasingly diverse cross-section of the undergraduate students at Princeton, with an eye toward creating an inclusive, closely knit, collaborative community of living, learning, socializing, and dining. The residential college design will consider how each of these spheres enhances one another—that is, how the dining hall offers a place to exchange ideas; how dorm rooms become places of intellectual and social encounter; and how the College might house spaces of creativity and serendipitous collision.”

– Hobson College Value Proposition

This new college will both embrace and enhance the surrounding landscape, serving as a testament to thoughtful campus planning. By weaving over 270,000 square feet of student living and learning spaces into the fabric of the campus, it helps complete the existing east-west corridor, punctuated by vibrant courtyards that encourage student engagement. Meticulously planned at the ground level, these spaces offer a blend of intellectual and social vitality, acting as both a thoroughfare and a destination that enriches the Princeton experience.

Designed to serve as a modern extension of Princeton's Gothic Revival aesthetic, Hobson College seamlessly integrates contemporary interpretations of gabled roofs, breezeways, and the signature Lockatong argillite, known as “Princeton Stone.” This thoughtful nod ensures the college remains a respectful yet refreshing neighbor, evoking a sense of comfortable familiarity.

The team, comprising leaders from PAU, JSA/MIXdesign, and Hanbury (architect of record), along with University stakeholders, has engaged in an integrated design process that explores smart building components along with discussions on program, design, quality, maintainability, sustainability, schedule, and budget. Hanbury also led the programming and conceptual phases for Princeton's newest residential colleges -Yeh and New College West - and recently completed a study of the other six existing colleges to align with Princeton's vision for a four-year residential college experience.

  • Sector: Higher Education
  • Scope: Architecture
  • Princeton, New Jersey
  • 2027
  • 247,400 SF
  • Graphics by PAU
Project Team
Jane Cady Rathbone
Design Principal
Jean Webster
Project Architect
William G. Hopkins
Project Manager
Ryan Lewandowski
Annesley B. Cole
Michael T. Brady
Perry Hammond
Kevin J. Kattwinkel
Adam Schultz
Kenneth Johnston
Josiah Kinney
Erika Jolleys-Wutt
Esther J. Park
Bridget Fitzmaurice
Interior Designer
Sarah Bannon
Interior Designer
Marni Rushing
Interior Designer
Megan Sigmon
Interior Designer
Katrina Van Orden
Zach Bonenberger
Allie Beck
Wesley L. Page
Project Illustrator
Sharon Agresta
Design Architect
JSA/Mix Design
Thornton Tomasetti
Structural Engineering
Buro Happold
MEP Engineering, Fire Protection, IT
Civil Engineering
James Corner Field Operations
Landscape Architect
Atelier Ten
Sustainability Consultant
Fisher Marantz Stone
Lighting Designer
Graphics and Wayfinding
Cerami & Associates
Acoustic Consultant
Ricca Design Studios
Food Service Consultant
Jensen Hughes
Code Consultant
Dharam Consulting
Cost Estimator