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umass studio building

updated fri 26 oct 07


Sean Burns on thu 25 oct 07

Greetings all,
Any one who has been through the Umass Amherst art program over the years
is well aquainted with the facility challenges faced by the art program-
In the ceramics area -the challenges of Monson annex. I never liked the
roof leaks but was so happy to be in school at the time I didnt really
- Recently Umass sent me an invite to tour their soon to open ( Jan.
2008) Studio Arts Building- All the Arts under one roof complex (designed
by Gund Partnership) - at the Umass Amherst Campus- and yesterday guided
by Bill Oedel, Don Michaud, and a construction supervisor I got a full
inside view of the 3/4 complete facility along with several other high
school art teachers from the area.
It is such a joy to go through a building at this stage because just
enough of the guts are exposed to make it easy to understand how the
systems in the building are going to work - alot of exposed duct work and
electrical- and rooms with nothing but unlimited potential.
The ceramic area had a large Bailey gas kiln not yet installed- alot of
window exposure to the outdoors- large classroom - seperate glazing
room/claasroom along with pugging area and studio space. Well lit- high
ceilings with alot of exposed piping that I was told would remain. A
modern facility! Still hard to tell how the area would play in terms of
exact use.
Outside of the ceramic area a rough description of the building is a v
shape with a large upright steel and glass rectangular atrium in the
center - The building is two stories high and utilizes the basement for
printmaking and photo. Looks like some nice patio and exterior landscaping
is part of the scenario. The center space is soaring and has I beams with
holes for hangings at the ceiling as well as expansive views of the
Near ceramics -if I recall correctly- is the wood and metal shop.
Painting,drawing, digital media as well as faculty, graduate, and
undergrad studios are also housed within. Hard to say how things will work
size/space wise when its filled with students/profs and bursting
creativity but things are looking good - Alot of time and hard work must
have gone into this one.
Looks like a modern student/staff friendly facility that will likely be
an on campus showcase of what can be............
Sean Burns
Williamsburg, Ma.