Residence Hall reflects collaborative efforts
It's easy to see the distinctive amber and green building rising on Huntington Avenue and just see a building. In reality, that building is a new home for 500 students and many of its design characteristics are a direct reflection of the MassArt community.
Construction of the new residence hall began in June 2010. It is on schedule to open for the fall 2012 semester.
The building will nearly double MassArt's on-campus housing capacity, guaranteeing housing for all first and second year students. The building will have 17 residential floors with 136 suites and 493 beds. The building will contain a health center and a café/lounge and will continue to support our efforts to improve the quality of student life, increase student retention, and recruit students from outside the region.
The project is a cooperative partnership between MassArt and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
The process of designing the new residence hall involved "hyper collaboration," an inclusive effort that reached out to students, faculty, and alumni for their help, opinions, and brainstorming tools. Students, in particular, were given the hands-on opportunity to study and critique everything from the organization of the dorm rooms to the positioning of the building on the street.
Most notable, the architecture class led by Professor Paul Hajian collaborated with the architecture firm ADD Inc., former President Kay Sloan, and members of the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSBCA). Together, the class designed the café that will be in the entrance of the residence hall.
"The class worked hand in hand with the architects and interior design staff to create a coherent design, and then worked on the presentation boards together at ADD Inc.'s offices. This created a project that was better because of everyone's input, and was a true collaboration - where the academic component of the café design and investigations happened in parallel with the architects and their process of completing the design of the residence hall," Hajian said.
Artist Gustav Klimt's 1909 painting, Tree of Life, inspires the exterior design of the building. It has been built on the former location of a parking lot, just across Huntington Avenue from the Tower building. It will have 500 beds for incoming freshmen and returning sophomores.
"The principal and immediate effect on the MassArt community will be to provide on-campus housing for a substantially larger number of students. I believe this will lead to many other positive developments in terms of student recruitment, retention, persistence, and overall satisfaction with the program, while having great opportunities to participate in the larger campus that is the city of Boston," said Edward Adelman, MSCBA executive director.