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Ann Beha Architects

Ann Beha Architects

Boston, MA

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New England Conservatory Student Life and Performance Center. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
New England Conservatory Student Life and Performance Center. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
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New England Conservatory Student Life and Performance Center

The New England Conservatory offers undergraduate, graduate, continuing, and preparatory music education and is a cornerstone of the nation’s cultural resources. The core of the conservatory’s campus is Jordan Hall, a national historic landmark restored by ABA.

The 125,000-square-foot Student Life and Performance Center, NEC’s first new construction since 1959, brings together housing for more than 250 students, a dining commons, student and community services, rehearsal and performance areas, and a new music library for print, digital, and archival resources. The design introduces a pedestrian friendly streetscape, emphasizes sustainability, and sources regional materials. The residential tower’s unique terracotta tile façade is paired with a performance podium clad in a light-filtering stainless steel curtain. Within the podium, a black box opera workshop, orchestral and jazz rehearsal rooms, small ensemble room, and acoustically isolated recording studios  significantly expand the facilities available to conservatory students. Residential
floors offer a mix of rooms and lounges with broad views of the city. Students immersed in the demanding world of professional music now have easy access to spaces of retreat and relaxation.

The project creates a vibrant new setting for the arts, invigorating NEC’s urban presence and cultural impact. Gensler was ABA’s Associate Architect and Architect of Record.

 
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Status: Built
Location: Boston, MA, US
Firm Role: Design Architect
Additional Credits: Gensler (Associate Architect); Tishman Construction Company; LeMessurier Consultants; Alteri; CRJA | IBI Group; Haley & Aldrich; Nitsch Engineering; Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting; Fisher Dachs Associates; Brailsford & Dunlavey; Ricca Design Studio; Kirkegaard Associates; R. W. Sullivan Engineering; Howard/Stein-Hudson, Inc.; Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

 
The performance podium, which houses an ensemble room, an opera studio, and an orchestral rehearsal space with acoustics mimicking those of Jordan Hall, projects a screened bay over the sidewalk. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The performance podium, which houses an ensemble room, an opera studio, and an orchestral rehearsal space with acoustics mimicking those of Jordan Hall, projects a screened bay over the sidewalk. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The exterior of the residential tower is clad in a vertical terracotta tile rainscreen, its variegated tones lightening as the height of the building increases. A curved screen made of perforated corrugated stainless steel panels adds contrast and a veil-like elegance to the façade of the performance wing. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The exterior of the residential tower is clad in a vertical terracotta tile rainscreen, its variegated tones lightening as the height of the building increases. A curved screen made of perforated corrugated stainless steel panels adds contrast and a veil-like elegance to the façade of the performance wing. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The base of the Student Life and Performance Center aligns with the cornice of the adjacent St. Botolph Building, which houses the NEC Opera Department. The seven-story residential tower is clad in offset, operable windows and variegated terracotta tiles applied in mixed, rhythmic patterns. Expansive glazing at the lower levels erases the boundary between the street and interior spaces. The performance podium shimmers with stainless steel screen cladding and offers tantalizing glimpses of the...
The base of the Student Life and Performance Center aligns with the cornice of the adjacent St. Botolph Building, which houses the NEC Opera Department. The seven-story residential tower is clad in offset, operable windows and variegated terracotta tiles applied in mixed, rhythmic patterns. Expansive glazing at the lower levels erases the boundary between the street and interior spaces. The performance podium shimmers with stainless steel screen cladding and offers tantalizing glimpses of the rehearsal spaces inside. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
Terracotta tiles bring warm earth tones and echoes of the façade into the spacious lobby. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
Terracotta tiles bring warm earth tones and echoes of the façade into the spacious lobby. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The 3,000-square-foot orchestral rehearsal room is acoustically isolated and has adjustable acoustical controls to support a variety of configurations. With its hardwood floors, the room is the ideal space for string instruments. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The 3,000-square-foot orchestral rehearsal room is acoustically isolated and has adjustable acoustical controls to support a variety of configurations. With its hardwood floors, the room is the ideal space for string instruments. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The creation of on-campus housing adjacent to learning, practice, and rehearsal space transforms the NEC student experience. For the first time, students can move between spaces of work, study, and relaxation without leaving campus or exposing their instruments to weather and possible theft. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The creation of on-campus housing adjacent to learning, practice, and rehearsal space transforms the NEC student experience. For the first time, students can move between spaces of work, study, and relaxation without leaving campus or exposing their instruments to weather and possible theft. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The 3,500-square-foot opera studio, acoustically isolated from other program spaces, can be tuned for different sized groups and various functions. Seating is entirely flexible. Adjustable platforms allow the room to be arranged in alternate configurations. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker
The 3,500-square-foot opera studio, acoustically isolated from other program spaces, can be tuned for different sized groups and various functions. Seating is entirely flexible. Adjustable platforms allow the room to be arranged in alternate configurations. Photo credit: Peter Vanderwarker