Boston, Massachusetts

New England Conservatory
Student Life and Performance Center

Located in Boston’s East Fenway district, NEC offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, continuing education, and a K–12 music preparatory program. The Student Life and Performance Center creates a vibrant new environment for NEC’s academic and community life. Its lower floors house orchestra, jazz rehearsal and recording rooms, a black box opera studio, music library, dining commons, and gathering spaces. The upper floors provide social spaces and housing for 256 students in a combination of singles, doubles, and suites.

The exterior of the building is a composition of terracotta tiles applied in variegated patterns, with broad expanses of glass at street level and a stainless-steel screen cladding the performance wing. The project included revitalizing NEC’s two-block streetscape as an active campus and community setting, with seating, trees, and widened sidewalks. 

New England Conservatory of Music
Completed 2017; LEED Gold
Project Size
125,000 SF
Rehearsal Performance, Dining, Library, Residential
ENR New England Award of Merit Higher Education/
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.
“Having everything in one place will be a wonderful way to bring people together. Being able to practice, rehearse, and relax will be so much easier. One can go back and forth quickly. You can take some down time and then jump back in. It will offer a great benefit for the health and happiness of the student body.”
— Robyn Bollinger ’13, ’15 M.M
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.

Our Process

Ann Beha Architects, now Annum Architects
Project Team
Ann Beha FAIA, Thomas Hotaling AIA, Steven Gerrard AIA, Scott Aquilina AIA, Chin Yao AIA, Leland Berman AIA (ABA/Annum); Gensler (Associate Architect); LeMessurier Consultants (Structural); Altieri (MEP / FP); Kirkegaard (Acoustics / AV); R. W. Sullivan Engineering (Code); IBI Group (Landscape); Fisher Dachs Associates (Theater Designer); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (Envelope); Nitsch Engineering (Civil); Ricca Newmark Design (Food Service); AECOM Tishman (Construction Management); Peter Vanderwarker (Photographer)