Old Chapel, Design Building Honored by Planners Group

UMass Amherst: News Archive

Two much-celebrated campus buildings were honored again July 11, receiving design excellence awards from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).The John W. Olver Design Building, which opened in 2017, earned a SCUP Merit Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture – General Design.
Old Chapel, at the center of campus since 1885, earned a SCUP/AIA-CAE Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture for Rehabilitation, Restoration or Preservation.
Thomas P. Huf, senior program manager in the Division of Campus Planning, will moderate the presentation of these awards at the SCUP national conference in Nashville next week.
SCUP reviewers note that the Design Building is the new home for the architecture department, landscape architecture and regional planning (LARP), and the building and construction technology program. They write, “Bringing these three disciplines together under one roof was a historic move that provides unprecedented opportunities for integrated learning about the built environment.”
The reviewers also note that the site had been a parking lot that contributed to siltation of the Campus Pond. “The need to restore a functioning ecosystem and the expression of horticultural experimentation were paramount to the design,” they wrote.
Praising the building’s place in the greater campus, the reviewers say, “With exposed timber frame construction in the architecture, regionally inspired gardens, site-harvested storm water, and an experimental green roof, the project has set a new ecological and creative standard for campus design at UMass.”
In November, the Design Building was honored with an Award of Merit in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) list of New England’s 2017 Best Projects in the Higher Education / Research category. The Wall Street Journal named it one of the best new buildings of 2017.
In February, it was named the U.S. Building of the Year in a national online poll by American-Architects, and it was named the Jury’s Choice for Wood Innovation in the WoodWorks 2018 Wood Design …

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