Date: Fall, 2015
Class: Graduate Design 3 – Kathleen Lugosch, UMass Amherst
Objective: Design a building that strengthens the relationship between the town of Amherst and the campus, through the integration of housing, and community spaces.
Gateway to the campus serves as an intermediate space between bustling college life and a more family-oriented neighborhood. Working alongside two landscape architecture students, we analyzed the existing environmental conditions, and developed a program based on the communities needs, and their feeling of the campus and town being disconnected. The primary function is to provide housing for graduate students and families. Retail and office spaces help to bring more activity to the area, while community spaces provide places for students and families to merge.
Public and community spaces occupy the lower two floors, while the rest are reserved for apartments. Each residential floor has their own lounge and outdoor terrace. A grass field and play garden provide outdoor areas for kids to hangout that are set back from the street, offering more privacy and security. Retail on the ground floor engages the neighborhood to create an active street edge.
Mass timber was explored as an alternative to typical steel and concrete construction. Glulam beams and columns support a 5-ply CLT deck topped with a layer of rigid foam and concrete. This combination gives the floor superior strenmgth and stiffness, while reduceing sound transmission and weight.
Glulam binds many small peices of wood together to form a stronger timber that can span large distances. Glulams are 2/3
the weight of steel and 1/6 the weight of concrete.
CLT decking is comparable in strength to concrete and steel, but weighs much less. The panels are currently available in sizes up to 20 feet wide, and 100 feet long. Plies can be added or subtracted according to the structural requirements. The wood harvested for the panels stores carbon, meaning it can offset carbon used for the production of other building materials, and the buildings construction.