Crossroads and new beginnings

Framingham State University

To help Framingham State University transition from commuter-only to a residential school, ARC collaborated closely with administrators and the Massachusetts State College Building Authority on a comprehensive study of residential life—from room style and communal space to program distribution, accessibility, and building siting. The result is the university’s new West Hall—a LEED Gold-certified 320 bed undergraduate residence that marks the beginning of an exciting new era at FSU.
Presentation Mode
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Stairs

Come together

As West Hall engages the hillside, it allows for a social stair to pass under the building, creating a nexus of thoughtfully designed communal spaces that bring the rest of the FSU community together with the residents of West Hall. Adjacent to the stair are a game room, lobby, and the main “living room” where students can connect around a shared kitchen and fireplace.

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Social Stair

The social stair of West Hall becomes a crossroads, where the residents and the students walking to class come together in the same space.

Image
Blue Hallway

This building was designed to balance security and connection with students who do not live in the building. The amenities spaces provided in this building are comfortable, with elements that remind one of home. The ability to cook one’s own meals, ways of finding social spaces for ones-self, as well as places for private focus. All these spaces visually connect to each other as well as to one of the campus’ major pedestrian walks. In this way this building tries to build connection between upper and lower classmen, as well as resident and commuter students.

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Lounge
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Lobby
Image
Pool room
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FSU_Site Plans (1) cropped
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Model

Taking the hill

The initial proposed site of West Hall was a former commuter parking lot, but after careful study of the campus and its needs, ARC chose instead to engage the building into the slope of a hill. Doing so increased accessibility by mitigating the grade difference from the parking lot to the upper campus, while also leaving space for development of a future facility.

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FSU at dusk
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Materials
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Campus Exterior

Good neighbors

To create a space in keeping with Framingham State’s small liberal arts college feel - and to respect existing campus environs, including a nearby university chapel - ARC was sensitive to scale throughout the project. Breaking down the building into three modestly sized forms and including multiple levels of architectural detailing enabled West Hall to fit seamlessly into its surrounding context.

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Lounge space at FSU
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Orange room

We are proud of the fact that it’s built to some of the highest standards for energy efficiency.

F. Javier Cevallos President, Framingham State University

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Dorm Room

A shining example

ARC explored a number of sustainability strategies for West Hall, ultimately improving on the radiant heating approach that is the standard in many college residences. Where the existing system warms just a strip of floor near the dorm room window, ARC’s approach places a nearly invisible panel near the door of the room—an innovation that improves both energy and material efficiency while creating a cleaner look for the space.  

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Plans-01 Cropped
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Plans-03 Cropped
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Plans-02 Cropped

Photography: Robert Benson Photography

Project
West Hall at Framingham State University
Location
Framingham, MA
Size
97,000 SF
Awards
LEED Gold

Crossroads and new beginnings

Framingham State University

Project
West Hall at Framingham State University
Location
Framingham, MA
Size
97,000 SF
Awards
LEED Gold
To help Framingham State University transition from commuter-only to a residential school, ARC collaborated closely with administrators and the Massachusetts State College Building Authority on a comprehensive study of residential life—from room style and communal space to program distribution, accessibility, and building siting. The result is the university’s new West Hall—a LEED Gold-certified 320 bed undergraduate residence that marks the beginning of an exciting new era at FSU.
Presentation Mode
Image
Stairs

Come together

As West Hall engages the hillside, it allows for a social stair to pass under the building, creating a nexus of thoughtfully designed communal spaces that bring the rest of the FSU community together with the residents of West Hall. Adjacent to the stair are a game room, lobby, and the main “living room” where students can connect around a shared kitchen and fireplace.

Image
Social Stair

The social stair of West Hall becomes a crossroads, where the residents and the students walking to class come together in the same space.

Image
Blue Hallway

This building was designed to balance security and connection with students who do not live in the building. The amenities spaces provided in this building are comfortable, with elements that remind one of home. The ability to cook one’s own meals, ways of finding social spaces for ones-self, as well as places for private focus. All these spaces visually connect to each other as well as to one of the campus’ major pedestrian walks. In this way this building tries to build connection between upper and lower classmen, as well as resident and commuter students.

Image
Lounge
Image
Lobby
Image
Pool room
Image
FSU_Site Plans (1) cropped
Image
Model

Taking the hill

The initial proposed site of West Hall was a former commuter parking lot, but after careful study of the campus and its needs, ARC chose instead to engage the building into the slope of a hill. Doing so increased accessibility by mitigating the grade difference from the parking lot to the upper campus, while also leaving space for development of a future facility.

Image
FSU at dusk
Image
Materials
Image
Campus Exterior

Good neighbors

To create a space in keeping with Framingham State’s small liberal arts college feel - and to respect existing campus environs, including a nearby university chapel - ARC was sensitive to scale throughout the project. Breaking down the building into three modestly sized forms and including multiple levels of architectural detailing enabled West Hall to fit seamlessly into its surrounding context.

Image
Lounge space at FSU
Image
Orange room

We are proud of the fact that it’s built to some of the highest standards for energy efficiency.

F. Javier Cevallos President, Framingham State University

Image
Dorm Room

A shining example

ARC explored a number of sustainability strategies for West Hall, ultimately improving on the radiant heating approach that is the standard in many college residences. Where the existing system warms just a strip of floor near the dorm room window, ARC’s approach places a nearly invisible panel near the door of the room—an innovation that improves both energy and material efficiency while creating a cleaner look for the space.  

Image
Plans-01 Cropped
Image
Plans-03 Cropped
Image
Plans-02 Cropped

Photography: Robert Benson Photography

Crossroads and new beginnings / Framingham State University
Social Stair
Campus Exterior
Blue Hallway
Lounge space at FSU
Lounge
Orange room
Lobby
Dorm Room
Pool room
FSU at dusk
Stairs
Materials