Massachusetts College of Art and Design is an urban arts school located in downtown Boston, along the Avenue of the Arts. Through student focus groups, benchmarking tours of comparable projects, and freshmen core curriculum demands, the MassArt Tree House Residence was designed to cater to the living and learning requirements of art school freshmen. Inspired by Gustav Klimt’s 1909 “Tree of Life” painting, the building is clad in composite aluminum panels of various widths and depths that result in an organic, colorful expression.
The 20-story housing tower includes a ground floor cafe and living room, a second floor health center, a “pajama floor” with common areas (kitchen, game room, lounge, laundry, fitness center, and vending), and 17 floors of four- and five-person suites. On residence floors, project workrooms, casual seating lounges, and snack kitchens create an informal studio atmosphere conducive to artistic dialogue and interdisciplinary friendships.
Hailed by critics as the most innovative new high rise in Boston, the tower is already a landmark in the city skyline and was a finalist for the Americas in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Best Tall Building competition.