Citation – William D. Smith Memorial Award
Project name: Coburn Hall, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Project overview: UMass Lowell’s Beaux-Arts Coburn Hall—opened in 1897 as Lowell Normal School—was entirely inaccessible for the mobility challenged until this comprehensive renewal in 2020. Today Coburn’s long-term inaccessibility, outdated School of Education spaces, and dimmed historic architecture are righted through a smartly planned 14,600-SF addition, graceful universal paths, and glowing restoration.
Project location: Lowell, Massachusetts
Firm name: CBT Architects
Project type: Higher Education Facilities
Project information: New construction, Addition, Adaptive reuse, Renovation/restoration
Jury comments: This project celebrates historic preservation in its quality of detail and is driven by the well-being of its users, maintaining the original character and artifacts while addressing much-needed accessibility concerns. Many subtle gestures made the jury look twice, including the contrast at kick level for wayfinding orientation and retooling the existing doors to provide accessible maneuvering clearance. The jury found the exterior of the addition to be aesthetically detracting from the original building and wished it integrated more with the character of the original architecture on the exterior as well as it was on the interior. For these reasons, the jury awards Coburn Hall with a Citation as well as the William D. Smith Memorial Award for Historic Preservation.
BSA Impact: Equity | Environment
Client: The University of Massachusetts
Images/Photographer(s): Robert Benson; Jay Burnham
Consultants: Code Red Consultants; CRJA (IBI Group); Engineers Design Group; Gianfranco Pocobene; Nitsch Engineering; Rist Frost Shumway Engineering; Shen Milsom & Wilke; Sladen Feinstein; The Green Engineer; Wil Spec
AIA Framework for Design Excellence: Integration | Equitable Communities | Well-being