Paradise Road Housing at Smith College

Location Northampton, Massachusetts
Design Principal Tom Kundig
Principal Kirsten R. Murray

Paradise Road Housing consists a set of five brick apartment-style residential buildings set around a small quad on the edge of this New England campus. Designed to accommodate eighty 3rd and 4th-year students (and summer program residents), the buildings take advantage of the site’s sloping topography to create intimate courtyards between the buildings, reinforcing a sense of community. Located on the site of the former Elizabeth Mason Infirmary, the apartments are carefully scaled to modulate between the larger residential buildings found on campus and the adjacent residential neighborhood.

The massing of each building is articulated to minimize its visual presence, and Norman-style bricks are used to emphasize the structure’s horizontality, and as a nod to relate the buildings to the predominant brick vocabulary of the existing campus architecture. Interiors are neutral enabling students to individualize the units and ample glazing, both at eye level and as clerestories, brings provide natural daylighting. Four of the five apartment buildings are identical, with the fifth including the addition of amenities facilities for the quad such as additional storage, laundry facilities, and a study area for residents. LEED® Gold for Homes Certification is targeted, with the project expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.

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