Western Massachusetts AIA (WMAIA) hosted a tour of our Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Student Learning Commons as part of their 2022 Women in Architecture Program. The 100,000 SF LEED Silver project renovated a former 19th-century storehouse into a café, bookstore, and meeting areas for students, with the campus sited on a National Historic Landmark and within the National Park System. The tour was led by Jackie Flanigan AIA of ABA/Annum and Debra Avery, Senior Director of Facilities at STCC.
Ann Beha Architects, now Annum Architects, completed the renewal and expansion of Harvard Divinity School’s Swartz Hall. Standing at the center of academic and administrative life of HDS, Swartz Hall was constructed in 1911 and is Harvard University’s only Collegiate Gothic structure.
With a mission to educate students of religion for intellectual leadership, professional service, and ministry, HDS is the first nonsectarian theological institution in the United States. As part of this major renovation, the first since the building’s completion, the firm designed an architectural environment reflective of the school’s multireligious community and the many faith traditions practiced by students, staff, and faculty. In addition to preserving the historical character of an existing chapel, an inclusive multifaith space and adjacent room for ritual cleansing by Muslims before daily prayers were created from former library stack space on the second floor.
The rejuvenated Swartz Hall creates a new campus gateway and center of academic, social, and spiritual life for HDS, building connections with the Harvard campus and surrounding neighborhood. “The collective team proved to be very talented and able to successfully meet the frequent challenges the project presented,” notes Ralph de Florio, Director of Operations for the duration of the project. “Ann Beha Architects was the right architectural firm for this project and the school will benefit from their work on this project for many decades to come.”
ABA/Annum completed the renovation of the Houghton Library, Harvard University’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts. In addition to significant changes to the building’s interior, the project included a redesign of the exterior entrance forecourt, enhancing the library’s presence in Harvard Yard and creating an accessible environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. A broad, welcoming staircase leads directly to the main entrance, flanked by a pair of graded walkways offering a universally accessible approach to the building.
The design modified the library’s oval lobby, unaltered since its completion in 1942, to create a new display setting for the library’s unparalleled special collections. Two openings, aligned with exterior windows, were created in the lobby, connecting the interior to the new forecourt and introducing natural but modulated light to the lobby. In this brightened and visually activated area, library ambassadors welcome and assist visitors. Modernized exhibition cases around the lobby perimeter display rotating exhibits drawn from the library’s holdings. A relocated and expanded cloakroom with lockers provides secure storage for patrons’ belongings, and a new visitor elevator now enables direct access to public spaces on all levels of the building, including new ground-floor ADA-compliant restrooms and second-floor exhibition space and classrooms.
A reconfigured, modernized reading room on the first floor supports both individual and collaborative research. Changes include a consultation room for reader check-in and materials requests and an adjacent group study room. These spaces are visually connected to each other and to the main reading room by full-height glazed partitions, which also provide acoustic separation between the three spaces. A new cork floor and acoustically treated ceiling contribute to the quieting of the rooms. Improved lighting, new adjustable height chairs, and custom-designed tables make research comfortable and accessible for all.
The renovated building pairs heritage with contemporary design that meets current needs, creating an inclusive setting that supports diverse approaches to research, learning, and teaching.
Philip Chen FAIA, with Ann Beha FAIA, Thomas Hotaling AIA, and Steven Gerrard AIA, are pleased to introduce Annum Architects, building on Ann Beha Architects’ accomplishments and a new generation of leadership.
Philip Chen FAIA, firm President, noted: “Annum Architects continues ABA’s remarkable legacy and points toward the future. Our transformative work explores the dialogue between historic and contemporary architecture and is rooted, like our new name, in the idea of time.”
Annum continues a tradition of collective leadership and bridging the past with the future to create timeless new settings that serve and strengthen our clients’ missions.
Nationally and internationally recognized for work in adaptive use and contemporary design in historic and valued settings, Annum will continue to advance innovative planning and design for academic, cultural, and civic organizations.
Annum’s expanded leadership includes Jason Bowers AIA, Katie Gerner AIA, and Ed Rice AIA as Associate Principals; Josh Aisenberg AIA and Bob Carroll AIA joining Elizabeth Nassikas and Ric Panciera AIA as Senior Associates; and Ashley Merchant AIA and Melissa Murphy AIA joining Jackie Flanigan AIA as Associates.
Ann Beha FAIA will be affiliated with Annum as Senior Collaborating Architect, and in 2023 will be Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture at Yale University.
“I am thrilled with Annum’s name, mission, and leadership. These reflect a practice marked by innovation and opportunity.” – Ann Beha FAIA
A minority-owned firm, Annum is committed to inclusion, sustainability, mentoring young designers, and welcoming new voices.