Fine Arts Center Photograph

UMassBRUT at UMass Amherst



    WHO WE ARE ​

    Visit the collobarative UMass Dartmouth & Amherst Brutalist Website, here.



The University of Massachusetts Amherst Brutalist Campus Guide is a 12” x 18” foldable map and directory of the Brutalist buildings of UMass Amherst. It contains a map of the campus, original artwork depicting the buildings, and information about their design and construction. The guide also has short biographies and portraits of the principle architects and planners.
This GIS map showcases campus Brutalist Buildings. A side panel displays a photograph of each building and a short description including the architect, contractor, and engineer.  



Campus Brutalist Tour

Where: Start at Bromery Center for the Arts Lobby, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003

When: Friday, 12 April 2024, 3:00pm-4:00pm 

After World War II, the University of Massachusetts Amherst embarked upon an ambitious building program to demonstrate that it had become a great research university. UMass employed talented architects of the time, such as the internationally known Marcel Breuer, Kevin Roche, and Edward Durell Stone, as well as the gifted but less remembered ones such as the Coletti Brothers of Boston. An expert on postwar modern architecture, Timothy M. Rohan, associate professor and chair, Department of the History of Art & Architecture from Art History, will lead the tour.  He and his students will speak about the remarkable windows of campus Brutalist buildings, the subject of a classroom assignment and forthcoming fall 2024 exhibition entitled “Windows on UMass” and sponsored by UMassBrut.



“Breuer Window: Take a Closer Look at Brutalism”

Where: Bromery Center for the Arts South Plaza, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003

When: Friday, 13 October 2023, 2:00pm-9:00pm 

An art installation that presents a 3/4 scale reconstruction of the Lincoln Campus Center hotel window façade panel, allowing the public to experience the beauty and formal grandeur of a Marcel Breuer’s architecture.  This event occurs during Family Weekend at UMass Amherst and is organized in collaboration with the following:  UMass Fine Arts Center Art Walk (3pm – 6pm); the Joy of Art After Party with Laudable productions (6pm – 9pm); and the UMass Student Life Pond Fire (6pm – 9pm). Installation designed and constructed by Colleen Tully ‘G24. 


“Campus Tour: UMass Amherst's Remarkable Brutalist Heritage”

Where: Meet at the Lincoln Campus Center Information Desk, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA

When: Friday, 13 October 2023, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Join us for Docomomo US Tour Day!

After World War II, the University of Massachusetts Amherst embarked upon one of the most ambitious academic building programs in the United States. Following a 1963 master plan by renowned landscape architect, Hideo Sasaki, UMass Amherst employed some of the most distinguished architects of the time, among them Marcel Breuer, Kevin Roche, and Edward Durell Stone. The tour will investigate their distinctive Brutalist buildings and how they are now being reimagined after serving generations of students well.

The walking tour will meet in the lobby of the Lincoln Campus Center (Marcel Breuer, 1970) and will traverse the campus grounds, viewing buildings such as the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts (Kevin Roche, 1973) and its newly renovated Arts Bridge, Herter Hall (Coletti Borthers, 1968), Whitmore Hall (Campbell & Aldrich, 1967), Tobin Hall (Coletti Borthers, 1972), and the iconic W.E.B. DuBois Library (Edward Durell Stone, 1972).

This tour will be led by Timothy M. Rohan, Chair and Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst with assistance from Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham, Senior Campus Planner.


“Illuminating Brutalism: A Projection Art and Music Experience”

Where: Bromery Center for the Arts South Plaza, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003

When: Saturday, October 29th, 2022, 7:00-­8:00 PM (October 30th Alternative Date In Case of Inclement Weather)

In conjunction with University of Massachusetts Amherst’s 2022 Homecoming Weekend, UMassBRUT is partnering with the Bromery Center for the Arts on a large public event centered around projecting artwork onto the building's south facade. The event will present an animated light show projected onto the Fine Arts Bridge of the Bromery Center (and on south partial walls of the auditoria) at a large scale. We anticipate large crowds from both the UMass and Amherst community gathering in the southern plaza in front of the bridge to enjoy the projection art and musical accompaniment. The event will take place on Saturday, October 29th from 7:00–8:00 PM (or, in case of inclement weather, at the same time the following day).

Noted artist and UMass Dartmouth Professor, Mark Millstein, is overseeing both the development of the art and the projection itself. Mark is an experienced projection artist who developed a special projection on the buildings of UMass Dartmouth for our UMass BRUT symposium last fall.

The overall goal of the projection mapping event is to raise awareness of and appreciation for the Brutalist buildings on our UMass campuses. Such projections would be designed to emphasize the bold forms and dramatic shadows of the Bromery Center for the art and highlight its powerful, expressive architecture.  The project is part of a multi-year campaign by UMass BRUT, a UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth collaborative advocacy group dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and reimagining our Brutalist architecture.


"BRUTALISM + the Public University: Past, Present and Future" Symposium

Thank you to our speakers and sponsors who made the sold-out 2021 UMass Brut Symposium a success!

October 22 - 23, 2021, UMass Dartmouth + Amherst 

UMass Brutalism Symposium 2021 Program

This two-day collaborative symposium provides a unique platform that brings together nation-wide scholars, industry professionals and passionate citizens with an interest in concrete Brutalist architecture and preservation of the architectural icons. The symposium’s goal is to create a dynamic, cross-disciplinary conversation among all participants on how we may conserve and provide stewardship of our buildings for the future. Participants can attend professional workshops and scholarly lectures, tour the campuses, and engage with local artists and community activists in public events. Open to the public. 

"Brutalism in Color” Exhibition by Lincoln Nemetz-Carlson

October 15 - 31, 2021. Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts Lobby. University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

In conjunction with the "Brutalism and the Public University: Past, Present and Future" Symposium. Free and open to the public.

“Brutalism in Color” presents the renowned Brutalist architecture of UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth in new and colorful ways. Featuring brightly colored archival photography, original artwork, and representations of recent renovations to Brutalist interiors, the exhibition will focus on different ways architects, designers, and caretakers have employed color in and around our Brutalist structures. The exhibit highlights the use of textiles, water, paint, and art not only to connect Brutalism to its original vibrant context of the 1960s and 1970s, but also to portray these architectural masterpieces in an entirely new light.



"Standing in Silhouette: The Southwest Dormitories at UMass" Exhibition

September 1 - December 8, 2021, UMass Amherst Fall Semester, Greenbaum Gallery at Elm House (entrance on Hicks Way) at 145 Commonwealth Avenue, UMass Amherst

Student exhibition open Fall 2021 in conjunction with the "Brutalism and the Public University: Past, Present and Future" Symposium.

Free and open to the public. Opening reception at the Greenbaum Gallery, November 6, 2021, 11 am.



"Southwest Residential Area, Whitmore, Herter, Tobin, Lincoln Campus Center" Walking Tour

Saturday October 23, 2021 4:00pm – 5:30pm. Start at the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts Plaza at 151 Presidents Drive, UMass Amherst

Free and Open to the Public; RSVP here: 

Tour Guides:  Lincoln Nemetz Carlson, PhD and Alexander Stoicheff, Graduate Researchers, Campus Planning, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Visitor Parking Options: (visit Where to Park - Transportation Services - UMass Amherst):  Park at the Campus Center Parking Garage (cost is $1.75/hour), at a metered parking space on Presidents Drive or the adjacent visitors lot (cost is $1.50/hour). Meters are enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tour Description:  The UMass Amherst campus was established under the Morrill Land Grant in 1863. Today it is the flagship of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, serving a community of over 36,000 in approximately 13.4 million square feet of buildings. Its most significant enrollment growth occurred after World War II with over 10 million square feet of space built within 20 years with a change in scale from rural to a more urban campus consisting of dense neighborhoods and towers, based on the 1963 master plan by Hideo Sasaki. Making UMass a veritable showcase of Brutalism at its zenith, UMass Amherst commissioned the landmark Fine Arts Center (1974) by Kevin Roche (recently lrenamed the Randolph W. Bromer Center for the Arts) and Lincoln Campus Center by Marcel Breuer (1970) as well other key structures by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Edward Durrell Stone and Hugh Stubbins. The tour will start at the Fine Arts Center (Kevin Roche, 1973), and walk on the campus grounds, viewing Herter Hall (Coletti Borthers, 1968), Whitmore Hall (Campbell & Aldrich, 1967), Southwest Residential Complex (Hugh Stubbins & Assoc., 1965-68), Tobin Hall (Coletti Borthers, 1972), Dubois Library (Edward Durell Stone, 1972), Lincoln Campus Center (Marcel Breuer, 1970), and Lederle Graduate Research Center (Campbell, Aldrich & Nulty, 1971-1973).



During four Mondays in April 2021 UMassBRUT partnered with the Amherst Historical Society and Museum, the Jones Library and the UMass Public History Program to present talks on the history of the campus and its Brutalist architecture.  The talks engaged over 100 participants and will become part of an oral history project recording memories, opinions, and reflections about the modernist buildings on campus. If you would like to be included, share written stories, or suggest topics for future talks, please fill out this survey

April 12: UMass Then/Now (click to see video)
Speakers: Ron Michaud and Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
Description: The UMass campus has always been a place of dynamic change. By pairing archival photographs with contemporary images, retired faculty member Ron Michaud and Senior Campus Planner Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham will invite participants to reflect on how the campus has changed over time.  What’s been lost? What’s been gained?

April 19: The History and Cultures of the Southwest Residential Complex (click to see video)
Speaker: Timothy M. Rohan
Description: Completed in 1968, the towers of the Southwest Residential Complex have made a big impact on our local landscape. What is the history of this large complex, which can house up to 5500 students?  What does it tell us about modern architecture, the campus, the community, and the region in the 1960s and after? How did its diverse communities create their own unique cultures within this “big city”-like environment?

April 26: Unbuilt UMass: A History of Campus Master Plans (click to see video)
Speaker: Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
Description: The UMass campus is familiar to many, but was it always going to look the way it does today? How has the campus been envisioned over time?  What forces and priorities shaped the plans that we recognize today, and what other plans were never realized?  Peek inside the history of campus master plans with Senior Campus Planner Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham to explore the evolving vision for the UMass Amherst campus, from its beginning to the present.

May 3: The History of the Randolph W. Bromery Fine Arts Center (click to see video)
Speakers: L. Carl Fiocchi and Margaret Vickery
Description: Since its founding in 1975, The Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts (formerly Fine Arts Center) has been a central force in the cultural, social and academic life of the Town of Amherst, the University, the Five College campuses, and the Pioneer Valley.  This uncompromisingly modern concrete building consists of several distinctly different units which are combined to form a powerful architectural sculpture.  It was conceived as a gateway to the campus at the south end of the pond and its monumental arcade serves as a pedestrian link between the east and west campus on what was formerly Ellis drive.  The complex contributes to both positive and negative perception of Brutalist concrete buildings and its history is marred with celebrations as well as expressions of discontent.  The presenters will discuss the history of its development and address the myths and perceptions related to its aesthetic and environmental appeal (and lack thereof).  The audience will be invited to share memories of its impact on life in Amherst and the surrounding community.



A UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth collaborative advocacy group of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to celebrating, preserving and reimagining our Brutalist architecture. 


To raise awareness of the relevance and international significance of our Brutalist heritage in order to foster pride in our campuses.


“Brutalism” describes the progressive, dynamic architecture favored internationally from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s which gave form to truthfulness using raw concrete and other textured materials. Architects from around the world employed this dramatic vocabulary to express the ambitious programs of socially progressive civic and educational institutions. Today, new appreciation is growing for these architects and their patrons as humanists who sought to express beneficial social programs and engage with their users and environments through architectural form.

Brutalism on Our Campuses

UMass Dartmouth is one of the most dramatic Brutalist campuses ever built. Beginning in 1963, Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) designed its master plan and core structures in an expressive manner made cohesive by using a fluted concrete block for all structures. At the same time, the UMass Amherst administration redesigned their nineteenth-century campus in 1963 to meet the needs of a rapidly growing university with a new master plan by Hideo Sasaki. Making UMass a veritable showcase of Brutalism at its zenith, UMass Amherst commissioned the landmark Fine Arts Center (1974) by Kevin Roche and Lincoln Campus Center by Marcel Breuer (1970) as well other key structures by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Edward Durrell Stone and Hugh Stubbins. Today, the buildings of both campuses are being reimagined for the twenty-first century by respecting their architectural integrity while enhancing their sustainability and accessibility.


The UMassBRUT Executive Committee aims to continue holding regular meetings, maintaining a social media presence, hosting annual tours, and continuing to plan engaging events and activities on both campuses. The two universities intend to use this momentum to apply for grants and promote future funding for the conservation of the buildings on each campus. Most importantly, raising appreciation for the architecture of these two landmark campuses will raise pride in UMass as a whole. 

Learn more in our one-pager, here. For more information contact Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham


Green Buildings Self-Guided Walking Tour

UMassBRUT Walking Tour



UMass + Brutalism  UMass + Brutalism: Who We Are



UMass Brut Instagram  UMassBRUT Instagram



UMass Amherst Brutalist Campus Guide



UMass Brut Instagram  UMassBRUT Symposium Program



UMass Brut  UMassBRUT PDF