University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA
A dynamic architectural form energizes the business school program and defines a distinctive gathering space.
The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, under the leadership of a dynamic dean, has experienced enormous growth in recent years. The programs and faculty count have outgrown the original 1964 Isenberg building and the 2004 Alfond addition. Goody Clancy led the design team to deliver a 70,000 GSF addition that connects to the existing building and defines important new indoor and outdoor spaces for the School.
The design for the three-story Business Innovation Hub extrudes the massing of Isenberg northward, in the form of a “loop” that creates an open-air courtyard as a new gathering space. The first floor contains several classrooms, the trading room, a cafe, and the show-place heart of the complex, the multi-story Learning Commons, which opens out to both Haigis Mall (to the west) and the courtyard (to the east).
The striking design of the addition starts with a rhythmic pattern of vertical solid and glass panels wrapping around the building. At the prominent northwest corner, the skin peels away from the “loop” form and sweeps out to create a dramatic architectural gesture at the building’s west entrance. This distinctive design provides a strong, yet respectful counterpart to the iconic Fine Arts Center across the quad to the north.