Springfield Technical Community College - Ira Rubenzhal Student Learning Commons

  
Study/Project Designer: Ann Beha Associates
Construction Manager: Consigli Construction
Project Type: CM at risk
Project Cost: $50 Million
Gross Square Feet: 118,000
Grand Opening: Dec 2018

In 2013, Springfield Community and Technical College in Springfield, Mass.,
determined that facilities for student life and services were lacking. The
college turned to Building 19, a historic former armory in the heart of
campus.

About the Armory
Building 19 is part of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, one
of 13 National Historic Registered buildings on the college campus. It
housed gunstocks from 1846 until it was closed and given to the college
in 1968. However, because of the old infrastructure and the many
considerations that go in to renovating and remodeling historic sites,
it sat largely unused for nearly 50 years.
 
The Challenge
One of the largest challenges in updating  Building 19 was its windows. Built as a storehouse for gunstocks more than 170 years earlier, it was never fully enclosed. Major updates would be required to make it an accessible, usable space. And the building is large – 767 feet long and three stories high. The fenestration made up nearly 50 percent of the building’s façade, which meant a lot of windows – St. Cloud Window custumed manufactured 552 windows. And due to the historic construction, no two windows were alike, with openings ranging from 10 by 7 feet to 10 by 13 feet.
 
The Solution
Ann Beha Architects turned to St. Cloud Window and the SCW3000 series to update the windows while maintaining the historical look and feel. St. Cloud Window worked with the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Historical Commission to develop the fenestration, fully enclosing the building while maintaining natural light. In addition, historical louvers originally designed for ventilation were retooled as exterior sun shades to manage and minimize heat.

Today, Building 19 is an accessible, sustainable and vibrant part of campus life, housing administrative offices, a student commons, student services, a health center, a café, study spaces, a library, and campus bookstore. 

  
Awards: 
Preservation Massachusetts’ Robert H. Kuehn Award , recognizing extraordinary projects that meld collaborative partnerships with creative and cutting-edge ideas for the rehabilitation and active reuse of historic buildings.

SCUP Excellence in Architecture Honorable Mention Award , recognizing projects that most clearly conveys how well-conceived planning strategies can be implemented through successful collaboration between planners, architects, landscape architects, and college/university faculty, students, and staff.