The Commonwealth Honors College Residential Complex at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a 2016 American Institute of Architects Housing Award. Originally established to recognize the best in housing design, the program judges architects on an energy reduction element as well as the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource.
The seven-building complex, completed in summer of 2013 by William Rawn Associates, provides a living and learning environment for students enrolled in the Commonwealth Honors College. It has 1,500 beds, nine classrooms, community spaces, and rooms for faculty-in-residence. The buildings are organized around intimately scaled courtyards that step down the hillside, creating the sense of an academic village for the Commonwealth Honors College Community.
AIA Housing Awards are judged on design excellence, including factors such as sustainability, affordability, social impact, innovation, durability, as well as addressing the natural and built context. Read the project description at Architect Magazine.