Renovating
to Reconnect

NBBJ helped Berkshire Community College build contemporary learning environments and a greater sense of community, by making strategic renovations to the existing campus.

Berkshire Community College comprises nine buildings on a 180-acre campus, surrounded by the dramatic Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. Designed in Brutalist concrete style by noted midcentury architect Benjamin Thompson, the buildings required significant renovations to replace outdated materials and accommodate new, more collaborative pedagogies.

A comprehensive analysis of the curriculum, existing building conditions and space utilization revealed a need for new teaching spaces in Melville and Hawthorne Halls. Contemporary classrooms now provide flexible flat-floor, studio-style and seminar rooms, as well as lecture halls and teaching labs. In addition to these significant programmatic enhancements, the scope also included full window replacement, mechanical systems upgrades including air conditioning, and a new fire suppression system.

A new connector building links Melville and Hawthorne Halls, providing enhanced accessibility and a much-needed place where students can study, meet with faculty, spend time between classes, or attend a scheduled event or presentation. NBBJ also reclaimed underutilized space throughout the buildings for new common areas, including a central faculty lounge, informal pocket lounges, collaborative linear lounges adjacent to faculty offices, a technology center and a writing center.