Elegance on a Budget
Transforming the heart of the campus


multiphase project
The design involved a multiphase project that included demolition of an existing wing of the original structure. Note the seamless visual transition between the new construction and the renovated wing.


Our design team employed a disciplined design approach that involved cost-effective materials used in repetitive ways to maximize unit economy. Materials were then composed, detailed and constructed with a focus on simple beauty and craft. 

The sustainable features include green roofs, stormwater re-use and soil recharge, solar panels for domestic hot water, heat wheel energy recovery systems, low volume and low static duct work and exterior sunshading.




reduction in water use from a baseline building through the use of low-flow fixtures, dual flush water closets, low-flow showerheads and water efficient sterilizers 

energy cost savings over a baseline building

Bridgewater State University
Dana Mohler-Faria Science & Mathematics Center

Bridgewater, MA / United States

168,300 GSF New
43,000 GSF Renovation

Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Geography, Math, Physics, Research Labs, Teaching Labs

LEED NC 2.2 Silver Certified

Completed in multiple phases, this project followed an aggressive design and construction schedule. The University set out to accomplish a broad set of goals with limited financial resources and had ambitions for an award-winning architectural solution. Meeting all of these objectives, the project was completed on time and on budget, and earned design recognition from AIA/New England, the Boston Society of Architects and SCUP.

The University built their previous science building in 1964. Since then, the number of full-time students on campus increased ten-fold. In addition to accommodating enrollment growth, the project needed to support new programs with vastly different pedagogies. The University sought an innovative concept that would collocate the sciences and math under one roof in an interactive environment, transforming the reimagined science center into a hub of student life and educational activity. This new science center needed to be a visible and integral component of the campus, rising on a site occupied by the pre-existing science building, which left little room for a new presence at the heart of the campus.

A publicly funded institution, the University faced tight budget requirements for the project. Thus all decisions, selections and strategies needed to be both elegant and cost-effective. To achieve this, the design team developed a two-phase approach that placed the complex’s major technical infrastructure in the new addition.

Our solution involved demolishing one wing of the existing L-shaped building, gut renovating the remaining wing and creating a major addition. This cost-effective consolidation, coupled with thoughtful right-sizing, allowed all occupants to move to the addition, which would be their final location, following phase one. This made renovating the empty pre-existing wing highly cost-effective and minimized the cost of temporary conditions and double program moves, focusing resources where they had long-term effectiveness.

While being sensitive to the University’s budget, the design solution provides a beautiful environment for interaction on all levels. In addition, the completed project creates a vital campus green shared by the existing campus center and library. Entrances at the ends of the three wings integrate the complex into the network of campus paths, placing “science on display” as members of the campus community navigate the building. The selection of cost-effective materials and a focus on sustainability, transparency, and landscape integration rounded out the design approach.

Innovative Components
The rooftop houses an observatory and observation deck, serving as a unique destination for the public community of stargazers. In addition, to highlight its sustainable goals, the building maximizes the use of rooftop area with an accessible green roof terrace and a visible solar tube array that supplies heat for all domestic hot water throughout the building.

Originally conceived by the University as a compartmentalized and departmental study space for students, the design team proposed a new vision for the Student Resource Rooms as a way to create barrier-free and actively used spaces for study within the connected wings of the building, situated adjacent to the main circulation staircase of the energetic and naturally-lit academic atrium.

Photography: © Warren Jagger Photography

James H. Collins, Jr., FAIA, LEED AP

Todd C. Sloane, AIA
Project Manager