University of Massachusetts Amherst A circular extension made of copper and glass establishes a dialogue with the surrounding commercial buildings
BIG and Goody Clancy designed the Business Innovation Hub of the University of Massachusetts
Amherst. Namely, an attachment of a structure built in 1964, a circular ring which expands to
create an open entrance called Learning Commons. It is characterised by versatile areas conceived
in order to help meetings, voluntary activities and a wide variety of events.
The façade, defined by vertical bands made of copper and glass, creates a domino effect which
engenders the expansion whereas inside the arching frames a cosier circular space devoted to
The distribution spaces are conceived as urban places, with furniture which can be easily managed
in order to create small working groups or sessions for common debates. The new building and the
existing one are linked by means of two bridges, one made of glass and the other copper covered.
With its peculiar shape, the extension opens towards the square and the surrounding business
activities, trying to become a link between the civil society and the academic community.