A Work of Art in Boston’s Skyline

by Katie Sloan

Boston  — Residence hall a fitting presence at one of the oldest public art colleges.

The new MassArt residence hall, which appears to be made of wood, was influenced by the Gustav Klimt painting “The Tree of Life.” It was designed by ADD Inc. of Boston.Boston  — The new student housing building at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design is turning heads in Boston.

The 21-story, 493-bed Residence Hall, which so far is the name it’s going by, was inspired by a Gustav Klimt painting, “The Tree of Life,” and is being touted as a breath of fresh air among architecture aficionados, including Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell who called ADD Inc.’s design “the most interesting Boston high-rise in years” and reported that “it’s already an architectural landmark.”

The $61 million project broke ground in April 2010 and opened this past May. It was financed with tax-exempt revenue bonds issued through the Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA).

It was built to offer more on-campus housing. It will primarily house first-year and sophomore students in a suite-style layout. Public areas include workrooms, a first floor cafe and lounge and a lobby with 24-hour security. The second floor is the student health center operated by Harvard Vanguard of Massachusetts. The third floor is called the “Pajama Floor” and will host community-building activities.

Capstone On-Campus Management will provide daily operations while the college, known as MassArt, provides student life and residential programming. This shared governance arrangement between Capstone and MSCBA includes two other MassArt buildings, the 310-bed Artists’ Residence and the 120-bed Smith Hall.

Founded in 1873, MassArt is one of the oldest art schools in the country and is regarded as offering competitive programs and degrees.

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