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University of Massachusetts Lowell
Olsen Hall

By meticulously devising and executing a comprehensive, multi-phased road map for the revitalization of Olsen Hall, we are transforming this iconic Brutalist structure into a cutting-edge facility for teaching and research.

  • Location



    Practice area


The subtle art of master planning building renovations

Olsen Hall is a six-story concrete building that had undergone only minimal renovations since its opening in 1971. Learning spaces, in particular, were no longer suited to their function. Goody Clancy was asked to develop a multi-year, phased road map that is both aspirational and pragmatic. The plan seeks to transform the appearance and functionality of the facility while responding to practical limitations, such as incremental funding and deferred maintenance requirements.

The first of four phases is complete; revitalized teaching, research, and office spaces now occupy levels two and three.


A reimagined elevator lobby is infused with light and color, transforming an underutilized and unwelcoming space into a site for impromptu conversation and collaboration.

Creating the optimal active-learning environment

On the third floor, new Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classrooms are each equipped with student “pods” centered around a touchscreen monitor. The addition of immersive technology supports collaboration and class participation, reinforcing the team-based active learning focus of the University. Cost-effective accent walls, energy efficient lighting, and new furnishings drastically improve the look and functionality of spaces for teaching and learning—inside and outside of the classroom.

Project impact
  • 69%

    Reduction in Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by insulating walls and optimizing building systems

  • 400

    Total classroom seats on the third floor, complimented by two new collaboration spaces

Goody Clancy completed a thoughtful master plan that addresses significant deferred maintenance as well as programmatic improvements and has subsequently designed several phases of projects ranging from a gut renovation of a classroom floor to replacing major building systems, with good attention to detail and excellent strategic thinking.
Adam BaackeAssistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Development, UMass Lowell

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Project Team


Ambient Air Technologies, LLC

Code Red Consultants

Dharam Consulting

HLB Lighting Design, LLC

Nitsch Engineering

RSE Associates

Russo Barr Associates

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

TRC Companies

Vantage Technology Consulting Group

VAV International



Woodward Curran



Robert Umenhofer

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