Students in the Department of Architecture program have access to many campus resources including studios, computer labs, libraries, workshops and others.
The new four-story, 87,200 GSF Design Building (DB) 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 project exemplifies the University's commitment to sustainable and innovative design and the pedagogic value of integrating three academic programs. Thanks to a grant through the 2014 Environmental Bond Bill, the DB also servesas a demonstration of new and innovative wood construction technologies. The DB integrates the latest wood technologies including a structural system consisting of exposed heavy engineered timber and cross laminated timber (CLT) decking and shear walls. 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. Exterior landscape consists of active rainwater detention basins and localstone elements that will extend into the building.
The DB is a showcase of integrated design that is expressive of today's state-of-the-art building technology. The design takes the form of a stacked courtyard with a collegial layout that provides a centrally located two-story commons for group activities, and is surrounded by studios, classrooms, workshops, and offices. The first floor contains a large meeting room, fabrication and materials testing shops, a cafe, classroom, exhibit, pinup, and research space. The second and third floors contain studios, classrooms and offices, and a smaller fourth floor contains studio space. The two-story commons area features an open zipper truss and large skylight.
Every student enrolled in a studio course 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 studios, and make themselves available to meet with students outside of classes, during weekly office hours.
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, students, faculty and staff have access to the Computer Classroom facilities. 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 are available at UMass Amherst IT's Computer Classroom webpage.
The Design Building features a new wood shop and digital fabrication lab. These will be available for academic assignments and research projects as equipment and protocols are brought online in 2017. Next door in the Studio Arts Building, additional shops are available for students to work in wood, metal, and various other materials. Many other shops are located throughout the Five Colleges and available for student use and collaboration.