Architects: Janet Ross of Ellenzweig Associates, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., in association with Whitney Atwood Norcross Associates, Boston.
The Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer Research was conceived as two distinct wings connected by a common elevator: one wing for offices and the other for laboratories. Facing north, the six-story office wing is a steel structure faced with an enameled steel and glass curtain wall. An arcade of exposed steel beams and stone-clad pillars serves no structural function, but creates an inviting entranceway to the building. The curved design of the office wing draws the eye into a courtyard created by the convergence of the Center and the Graduate Research Towers
The eight-story laboratory wing has limestone paneling and a granite base that blend with other buildings in the immediate vicinity. The wing houses 113 research labs serviced by 150 fume hoods.
The building was named after the late Silvio O. Conte (R-Pittsfield), a former U.S. congressman who was committed to polymer research and was instrumental in obtaining federal funding to build the complex.
From Three Architectural Tours: Selected Buildings on the Campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, 2000)
For additional information, consult the University Archives (RG 36/101).