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 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 Design Building also serves as a demonstration of new and innovative wood construction technologies. The building 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. The exterior landscape consists of active rainwater detention basins and local stone elements that extend into the building.
The Design Building 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 labs 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.
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.
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.