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MassArt Tree House Student Residence

A 20-story tree house?

  • 6

    Design Awards

  • 493


  • 10


  • Boston, Massachusetts

    Boston, Massachusetts

An urban arts school made to reflect urban art in downtown Boston

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.

At a Glance

Meet Our Team

Colleen Arria, Principal, Interior Design

With functional, spatial, psychological, wellness, and aesthetic variables, finding the right interior design solution is a thrill.

B.K. Boley, Senior Principal, Architecture

We achieve design excellence through understanding the story behind our clients and their projects.

Elizabeth King, Senior Associate, Architecture

I tell my kids listening is the key to solving problems. The design process is the same—paying attention is how we create design solutions.
Elizabeth King Senior Associate, Architecture Read More

David Lunny, Senior Principal, Architecture

Collaboration allows us to harness the strengths of our teams to deliver design solutions that are creative, practical, and always memorable.
David Lunny Senior Principal, Architecture Read More

Derrick Nickerson, Principal, Business Solutions Manager, Digital Practice

Technology doesn’t have to eliminate the personal connection.
Derrick Nickerson Principal, Business Solutions Manager, Digital Practice Read More

Tamara Roy, Principal, Architecture

I pursue artful solutions in every design project—turning constraints into opportunities for creative invention.

Colleen Arria

Principal, Interior Design

B.K. Boley

Senior Principal, Architecture

Elizabeth King

Senior Associate, Architecture

David Lunny

Senior Principal, Architecture

Derrick Nickerson

Principal, Business Solutions Manager, Digital Practice

Tamara Roy

Principal, Architecture

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