Southwest Residential Area
Architects: Hugh Stubbins and Associates, Ins., Cambridge, Mass.
Design and construction
This complex of dormitories was created in response to the large influx of students in the 1960s and contains five twenty-two story towers, twelve low-rise residence halls, and two dining commons. It accommodates 5,400 students and staff. Hugh Stubbins, who also designed the Franklin Dining Commons, set out to create a beautiful contemporary design, virtually a small town for students. The towers provide spectacular views and are a dramatic and highly visible landmark for the University.
The high-rise and low-rise buildings are seamlessly joined together. Each of the towers articulates the location of lounges, and these indentations break up what otherwise would have been overpowering towers of solid brick. Handsome passages and open spaces were created within the complex, with further interest provided through changing paving materials which alternate with planted areas, also sensitively designed by the architects.
The complex was originally served by three dining commons, Hampshire, Hampden, and Berkshire.
A major renovation of the concourse was completed in 2012.
- 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 36/102).