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NewsApr 3, 2020

Lunder Arts Center among Archinect’s Top 10 academic buildings

Lesley University’s innovative building praised for sustainable design and successful merger of 19th-century ecclesial tradition with 21st-century architecture.

Exterior of the Lunder Arts Center at night

Five years after its grand opening, our Lunder Arts Center keeps turning heads and receiving accolades for its eye-catching and environmentally friendly design. Most recently, Archinect.com listed it among the Boston-area’s Top 10 academic architecture projects.

The designation follows last autumn’s Educational Facility Design Award from the Boston Society for Architecture, which recognizes “design excellence in education facilities both K-12 and higher education building types.” According to the society, projects are assessed on “innovation in addressing programmatic requirements, site design, relationship to the landscape, evidence of holistic design thinking, consideration for universal access, and aesthetics.”

“Winning projects demonstrated sophisticated design thinking and sparked emotional responses from the judges,” according to the awards criteria.

Reception in Lunder Arts Center lobby
The community enjoys a recent opening reception at the Lunder Arts Center.

We opened the Lunder Arts Center at 1801 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, in 2015. The complex, which houses galleries, state-of-the-art studios, offices and an arts library, was constructed by John Moriarty & Associates and designed by Bruner/Cott Architects.

“We are thrilled that the Lunder Arts Center is still being recognized and receiving design awards five years after its completion,” said Dana Kelly, a principal of Bruner/Cott Architects, at the time of the Boston Society for Architecture award.  This award (shows) how merging old and new can create dynamic and innovative spaces that will serve the needs of students and the community for years to come.”

The LEED Gold-certified Lunder Arts Center is the heart of our College of Art and Design in Porter Square. The project required the relocation and careful renovation of the historic North Prospect Congregational Church and the design of an adjacent new structure that respects the iconic architecture of the church and reflects the industrial heritage of the city.

“The result is a terra cotta-clad studio wing informed by the massing, scale, and detail of the church, which was converted to house the art library, offices, and design studios,” the Archinect article reads.

The Lunder Arts Center deftly melds artistic drama
with a keen awareness of place.
Matthew Brownell, Lesley Senior Campus Planner

“The Lunder Arts Center deftly melds artistic drama with a keen awareness of place. Its juxtaposition of modern and historic forms makes its architectural epiphanies all the more striking,” said Matthew Brownell, Lesley’s senior campus planner. “Bruner/Cott’s design integrates scale, material and a respect for public space that creates an unforgettable entrance to our art school. I couldn’t be happier with its design.”

“We are proud of our work and our relationship with Lesley University, and truly look forward to seeing future generations of artists utilize and learn in the Lunder Arts Center,” Kelly added.