Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Architect: William Rawn Associates, Architects Inc.

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

This new residential project features seven new buildings organized around intimately scaled courtyards.

The new 500,000-square-foot residential complex provides 1,500 beds in seven new buildings for the Honors Program at this University. The project brings together all classes of students in a mix of unit types, including approximately 600 beds of singles and doubles, and 900 beds in suites and apartments.

"Rich mixture of campus buildings resembling an Italian hill town." - Jury comment

Seven new buildings are organized around intimately scaled courtyards. The buildings step down the hillside, creating a sense of an academic village for the Honors College, with a series of open outdoor quads for students to gather. The project is LEED Silver-certified.

Unlike most of the University's residential sectors, which are clustered around the edges of the main academic campus, this project sits within the boundaries of the campus core and brings together academic and residential components to create a true "living and learning" community.

Additional information

Structural Engineer: LeMessurier Consultants

MEP/FP Engineer: Rist Frost Shumway Engineering

Code Consultant: The Sullivan Group, R.W. Sullivan Engineering

Interior Designer: Lab[3.2] Architecture

Cost Estimator: Faithful and Gould

Lighting Consultant: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Sustainable Design Consultant: The Green Engineer

Landscape Architect/Civil Engineer: Stantec

Geotechnical Engineer: McPhail Associates.

Food Service Consultant: Cromwell Consulting, Inc.

Animal Care Consultant: Tsoi / Kobus & Associates

Construction Manager: Dimeo Construction.

Specifications Writer: Kalin Associates

OPM: Joslin, Lesser + Associates, Inc.


2016 AIA Housing Awards Jury

Jamie Blosser, AIA (Chair), Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief, Next City, Philadelphia

Kevin Harris, FAIA, Kevin Harris Architect, LLC, Baton Rouge

David Lee, FAIA, Stull and Lee, Inc., Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts

Suman Sorg, FAIA, Sorg & Associates, P.C., Washington, DC

Image credits


Robert Benson Photography


Robert Benson Photography


Robert Benson Photography

01_AIAHousing_Common wealth-honors-college

Robert Benson Photography


Robert Benson Photography


Robert Benson Photography


Robert Benson Photography