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Design Building

The new four-story, 87,200 GSF Design Building houses three academic programs from three separate colleges in a single facility: the Department of Architecture from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and the Building Construction Technology program from the College of Natural Sciences.

The building exemplifies the university's commitment to sustainable and innovative design. Called the most technologically advanced cross-laminated timber (CLT) building in the country when it opened in 2017, the building integrates the latest wood technologies including a structural system consisting of exposed heavy engineered timber and CLT. An elegant "zipper truss" spans the two-story high building commons space. The exterior cladding incorporates a glazed curtain wall system and an aluminum panel rain-screen system. The exterior landscape consists of active rainwater detention basins and local stone elements that extend into the building. The building was awarded LEED Gold and in 2023 was one of 16 buildings to receive an American Institute of Architects National award.

The multidisciplinary building, organized around a first-floor atrium, fosters collaboration across disciplines. It intentionally features exposed structural elements and service systems for teaching, while its Trimble Technology Lab provides advanced tools for design research and development. Surrounding the atrium—which can serve as a large lecture hall—the first floor also contains a large classroom, fabrication labs and materials testing shops, a cafe, exhibit space, pinup walls, and research space. The second and third floors contain studios, classrooms, and offices, and a smaller fourth floor contains studio and pinup space. An exterior landscaped courtyard and outdoor classroom is at the center of the third floor.

Every architecture student is assigned a personal desk in one of the Design Building studios each semester. Studios are accessible outside of class hours for design and other course work. All studios have wireless access. Many have pinup spaces and large screens for sharing work.

The Department of Architecture administrative offices are located on the second floor of the Design Building. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Faculty members have offices on the second and third floors near the studios and make themselves available to meet with students outside of classes during weekly office hours.

Computer Labs

The UMass Amherst Office of Information Technologies operates 10 computer classrooms on campus and over 100 computers in the Learning Commons at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. The new Design Building has a forty-seat classroom and a flexible laptop lab adjacent to the Department of Architecture studios. Students have access to this lab for digital technology courses. When not being used for teaching, the Computer Classroom facilities are accessible to students, faculty, and staff. Consultants and printers are available in each of the OIT classrooms. Members of the UMass community can use their UCards to pay for printing on a per-page basis.

Classroom hours may vary, especially at the beginning and end of each semester. Hours, locations, guidelines for use, and availability can be found on UMass Amherst IT's Computer Classroom webpage.

Workshops and Labs

The Design Building features a new wood shop and state-of-the-art digital fabrication lab. These are available for academic assignments and research projects. Many other shops are located throughout the Five Colleges and available for student use and collaboration.