Located in Boston’s East Fenway district, the New England Conservatory offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, continuing education, and a K–12 music preparatory program. The Student Life and Performance Center creates a vibrant new environment for the academic and community life of NEC, housing orchestra and jazz rehearsal rooms, a black box opera workshop, the NEC library, 250 student rooms, a dining commons, and spaces for collaboration and gathering. An open stair connects performance floors, encouraging chance encounters and interaction as students and patrons travel through the facilities.
The exterior of the building reveals striking composition of variegated terracotta tiles applied in mixed patterns, with broad glass expanses at street level and a stainless-steel screen cladding the performance wing. At the building’s base, dining and performance spaces are visible from the street. NEC’s two-block streetscape, which includes the historic Jordan Hall, is revitalized as an active campus and community setting, with new seating, trees, and widened sidewalks.
The Student Life and Performance Center creates fresh opportunities for innovative musical collaboration and a new image for NEC on Boston’s Avenue of the Arts.
Size: 130,000 sf
Sustainability: Certified LEED Gold. Sustainable features include water-efficient landscaping with drought-resistant plants; high-efficiency, low-flow fixtures to reduce water use; a high-performance building envelope with premium insulated glazed units; and external shading devices. Construction processes targeted 95% efficiency for construction waste management and a high level of recycled content in building materials. Specifications targeted regional suppliers and manufacturers. The building is sited proximate to public transportation.
Project Team: Ann Beha FAIA, Steven Gerrard AIA, Thomas Hotaling AIA (ABA); Gensler (Associate Architect); LeMessurier Consultants (Structural); Altieri (MEP, FP); Kirkegaard (Acoustics / AV); R. W. Sullivan Engineering (Code); Carol R. Johnson Associates (Landscape); Fisher Dachs Associates (Theater Designer); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (Envelope); Nitsch Engineering (Civil); Ricca Newmark Design (Food Service); Syska Hennessy Group (Elevator); Peter Vanderwarker (Photographer)