The University of Massachusetts Boston’s all-new Residence Hall has received the Multifamily Executive Grand Award as part of the 2019 MFE Awards—a program that spotlights exceptional projects across the nation.

In partnership with University of Massachusetts Building Authority, Capstone Development Partners, Elkus Manfredi Architects, and Copley Wolff Design Group, Shawmut completed the fast-tracked, 260,000-square-foot public–private project in just 20 months to create the first on-campus housing at the university. Housing more than 1,000 students and featuring a 500-seat dining hall that serves the entire campus, the transformational project features two seven and twelve story buildings that offer a mixture of living styles, from single-occupancy and four-person units to flexible living-learning spaces.

Excerpt from Multifamily Executive

The University of Massachusetts Boston, traditionally known as a commuter campus, has always wanted to offer its students a full “live-learn” experience by adding on-campus housing. Like other urban universities, finding affordable housing near the school is a challenge for UMass Boston students. To help deal with this issue, a new residence and dining hall was added via a public-private partnership.

The new residence and dining hall consists of two separate residential buildings on a single site near the primary campus entrance. The first building is a standalone rectangular form, while the second is an L-shaped structure with the ground-floor dining hall filling the inside of the L.

The exteriors feature contemporary architecture using a mix of masonry and metal-panel cladding. The interior finishes include polished concrete floors, solid surface counters, and natural woods. The first floor of each building consists of amenity spaces with dining areas, meeting rooms, and lounges.

Each residential floor is organized around a centralized common area lounge. The project accommodates several intentional live-learn spaces, seminar and group study rooms, and campus administrative offices.

Eight different unit types with varying price points were created, including single, double, triple, and quadruple occupancy rooms. Fully furnished units include a bed, a dresser, a desk, a chair, and closet space for each student. Residential rooms offer large windows with views of the campus and downtown Boston.

The project achieved LEED Gold certification for its green efforts and features, including brownfield site redevelopment, cool roofing, and vegetated open space. Plumbing fixtures are low-flow, the building envelope is tight, and lighting is LED.

The 28,000-square-foot dining space is efficiently designed to serve as additional study or function space during non-dining hours. The glass, south-facing wall can swing open during warm weather via terrace doors, enabling diners to sit out on the pedestrian concourse. Purposefully designed multipurpose conference, seminar, and tutoring rooms were important priorities for the chancellor and the school administration.

Read the full Multifamily Executive Grand Award profile for UMass Boston’s Residence Hall here.