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 is leading a 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.