STIMSON
UMass DB 15 ND.jpg

UMass Design Building

Amherst, MA

 The Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the new home of the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Regional Planning, and Building and Construction Technology Departments. Bringing these four interrelated disciplines together under one roof is a bold and historic move that provides unprecedented opportunities for integrated learning about the built environment at the UMass flagship campus.   Designed in unison, the building is organized around an open common gallery while the landscape is a collection of gardens represented by familiar ecosystems from this part of western MA, each one with a particular function relating to the site’s hydrology and topography. The site was once the historic test plots for the Landscape Architecture Department in the early 1900’s, and this notion of experimental design still prevails, both in the timber frame construction of the building and in particular, with the design of the rooftop courtyard. This garden on the third floor was conceived as an alpine summit landscape, built on almost entirely less than 6” of soil, and is one of the first of its kind to embrace native lichens, mosses, groundcovers, and wind tolerant shrubs and trees, taking cues from the planting palette of the nearby Berkshire Mountains. The project is envisioned as a living laboratory for learning about the built environment, in support of the curriculum and progressive mission of these disciplines. The distinct and diverse gardens of the Design Building are a reminder that regional ecologies can and should inspire place-making.   Recognition   LEED Gold Boston Society of Landscape Architects | Merit Award 2018 Society for College and University Planning | Merit Award 2018   Collaborators  Leers Weinzapfel Architects Nitsch Engineering Atelier Ten   Photography  Ngoc Doan Stephen Stimson

The Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the new home of the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Regional Planning, and Building and Construction Technology Departments. Bringing these four interrelated disciplines together under one roof is a bold and historic move that provides unprecedented opportunities for integrated learning about the built environment at the UMass flagship campus.

Designed in unison, the building is organized around an open common gallery while the landscape is a collection of gardens represented by familiar ecosystems from this part of western MA, each one with a particular function relating to the site’s hydrology and topography. The site was once the historic test plots for the Landscape Architecture Department in the early 1900’s, and this notion of experimental design still prevails, both in the timber frame construction of the building and in particular, with the design of the rooftop courtyard. This garden on the third floor was conceived as an alpine summit landscape, built on almost entirely less than 6” of soil, and is one of the first of its kind to embrace native lichens, mosses, groundcovers, and wind tolerant shrubs and trees, taking cues from the planting palette of the nearby Berkshire Mountains. The project is envisioned as a living laboratory for learning about the built environment, in support of the curriculum and progressive mission of these disciplines. The distinct and diverse gardens of the Design Building are a reminder that regional ecologies can and should inspire place-making.

Recognition
LEED Gold
Boston Society of Landscape Architects | Merit Award 2018
Society for College and University Planning | Merit Award 2018

Collaborators
Leers Weinzapfel Architects
Nitsch Engineering
Atelier Ten

Photography
Ngoc Doan
Stephen Stimson

Diagram+Plan.jpg
UMass DB 2 Section.jpg
Planting.jpg
UMass DB 6 ND.jpg
01_UMASS DB.jpg
03_UMASS DB.jpg
04_UMASS DB.jpg
05_UMASS DB.jpg
06_UMASS DB.jpg
07_UMASS DB.jpg
UMass DB 10 ND.jpg
UMass DB 11 ND.jpg
UMass DB 5 ND.jpg
UMass DB 7 ND.jpg
UMass DB 8 ND.jpg
UMass DB 12 ND.jpg
UMass DB 23 ND.jpg
UMass DB 24 ND.jpg
UMass DB 25 ND.jpg
UMass DB 22 ND.jpg
UMass DB 13 ND.jpg
UMass DB 14 ND.jpg
08_UMASS DB.jpg
09_UMASS DB.jpg
10_UMASS DB.jpg