Architectural Resources Cambridge, is a firm based in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States of America. It was founded in 1969 and practices sustainable architectural planning and interior design. The firm has made dedicated efforts to promote sustainable standards of energy consumption and resource preservation in the architecture industry. 

ARC believes in achieving alternate design strategies to promote healthful environments and improve the building’s overall performance. Their team comprises 65% LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professionals who actively engage in designing and reviewing all their projects. The firm takes pride in the Platinum, Gold, and Silver ratings many of its projects have received. 

Furthermore, ARC has also signed onto the AIA 2030 Challenge to promote green office practices.  

1. Greenwich Country Day Middle School

The middle school campus comprises a 19th Century Dutch colonial home and the New Middle School. The new school design provides nineteen general classrooms and three specialty classrooms namely; a woodshop, an art studio, and a developmental learning classroom. ARC preserves and restores the historic context of the campus and connects the old house and the new addition with a bridge. The old building now houses the administrative facilities. 

Keeping with the colonial aesthetic of sloping roofs, ARC adds rows of solar panels to meet the energy requirements converting the project to a nearly net-zero facility. The classroom wings are connected by the open and active central spine. The double-height glass windows draw in the natural light in ample amounts specifically in common spaces like the library.    

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New Middle School with the old colonial house in the background. Solar panels visible on the sloping roofs ©www.arcusa.com
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Enough natural light drawn in by the full length window panes ©www.arcusa.com 

2. Weston Hall Renovation

Williams College, MA, hired ARC to help transform Weston Hall into the Admission and Financial Aid offices. The firm redesigned the entrance patio that not only highlights the access but also seamlessly integrates with the vernacular architecture. ARC does a complete exterior restoration that involves designing a new slate roofing with copper flashings and downspouts, brick repointing, and new windows. 

The interiors of the building, however, are designed in a modern and minimal fashion, meeting the demands of a workspace with a constant influx of parents and students. Despite the old constriction, the building is LEED Gold Certified, due to ARC’s deep energy retrofits.  

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Weston Hall Renovation showing the new entrance and roofing system ©www.arcusa.com

3. West Hall

ARC designed a residence hall for the Framingham State University, comprising 320-bed and 97,000 sqft. The building is located on a challenging sloped site. The firm plays by its strengths of creating building architecture that smoothly blends into its context, an important characteristic for this project as it eases the transition from the campus to the residential community. 

The building design achieved its objective of reinstating Maynard Road as the primary gateway to the campus. The sloping site is used to create a wide entrance, along with outdoor seating on the steps. Shared spaces like kitchens, lounges, play areas run along the live walls with huge openings drawing in natural light. These spaces act as shared neighborhoods bringing students from all years together.

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West Hall, Framingham State University, MA © www.arcusa.com
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Outdoor seating on entrance steps ©www.arcusa.com

4. Hess Center for Arts

Another LEED Certified project by ARC, it is an addition to the Deerfield’s Arts Complex. The center houses a music hall, five art studios, an art gallery and also increases the seating capacity in the school’s main auditorium. All spaces in the new center are universally accessible. 

The school auditorium renovation also includes a provision for a music recording studio, twelve practice rooms, and another dance studio. The building has exposed brickwork keeping with the style of the rest of the buildings in the complex. However, ARC chose full-length windows instead of framed windows, for the studios and the gallery. 

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Hess Center for Arts ©www.arcusa.com 
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Music Hall in the Hess Center for Arts. ©www.arcusa.com

5. Hackley School Center for Health and Wellness

ARC designed the new Hackley School Johnson Center for Health and Wellness, a facility complete with all required programs; indoors and outdoors. The expansive project sits on a rocky terrain alongside woodland trails. The external skin of the building wraps the six vastly spread programs; converging them to a common entrance lobby. In doing so it creates a U-shaped interstitial space used as outdoor seating. 

On the roofs of the Squash Center, Gymnasium, and the Pool buildings, expansive solar panels are placed. Whereas, the Varsity Gym has wide skylights allowing plenty of natural light in an otherwise busy program. The glass exteriors exposed to the west and south have electrochromic glazing to reduce the heat gain and glare. 

The project is Gold Certified and is sited to preserve woodland pedestrian paths and existing trees.

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Graphical representation of the facility in plan ©www.arcusa.com
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Graphic ©www.arcusa.com

6. Science Education and Research Center

A facility for Temple University, it houses all the requirements of the science department on the campus, namely; Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Information Services, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Physics. The building is designed to smoothly integrate seventeen laboratories (wet and dry), classrooms, lecture rooms and maximize the use of technology. 

ARC used perforated sun breakers on the glassed facade that acts as a shading system. The entrance plaza is a double-height atrium drawing plenty of natural light in the common areas. While also drawing focus to the corridor linking the science facilities to the University.

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Science Education and Research Center. ©www.arcusa.com 

7. STEM Center

This project by ARC is an extensive facility for Science Technology Engineering Math for students of St. Mark’s School. The project consists of renovating a part of the existing facilities and adding more programs in a new building. Externally the facade has minimal paneling with casement windows, distinguishing itself from the rest of the exposed brick-work architecture. 

Internally, the design is practical with open-plan classrooms enabling multiple need-based configurations. The integrated floor plan with plenty of spaces is designed to promote collaboration amongst students.

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STEM Center, St. Mark’s School. ©www.arcusa.com

8. Center For Science And Innovation

The center is designed to support the Engineering and Science programs at Johnson and Wales University. It houses various kinds of laboratories and the required support spaces. At the entrance of the building, an L-shaped double-height terrace is provided that looks over the adjoining street. 

ARC uses glass to create internal partitions, facilitating an open plan and integrated spaces. The common lobby areas are also designed as gallery spaces to display students’ works and foster discussions. The building also envelops landscaped spaces that provide outdoor seating shaded by trees. 

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Johnson and Wales University, Center for Science and Innovation ©www.arcusa.com 

9. Fish Field House

The vault technology used for the roofing system allows the Field House to span across many meters without the need for any columns. The roof makes use of a steel-truss structural system between which recessed lighting for the field is present. The columnless expanse within the building is used for varsity football, recreational, and sports clubs. 

ARC also provides a natural grass practice field with lights for Boston College teams. High glass windows draw in enough natural light despite the depth of the vault. The field house also provides a gymnasium and other support spaces. The expansive public lobby also features Hall of Fame displays.

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Fish Field House, Boston College. ©www.arcusa.com 
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The grass practise field for Boston College teams. ©www.arcusa.com

10. Multipurpose Arena

ARC designed this multipurpose arena as an addition to the Bentley University campus. The venue hosts the university’s NCAA Division I hockey team with tiered seating for 2,000 people around the hockey play area. Along with hosting sporting events, the arena is designed to serve functions such as concerts, career fairs, and orientation. 

The venue is used to support events on campus that bring the larger Bentley community together including students, faculty, and alumni. Additionally, the arena is also the first standalone ice arena in the country to achieve LEED Platinum.

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Multipurpose Arena, Bentley University Campus. ©www.arcusa.com 

 

Srivarenya Annaldasula
Author

An architect that is in pursuit of achieving a responsive architecture user-interface by studying interdependent disciplines. A liberal, an academician, and a rarely funny person who believes that engaging in regular discourse can benefit today's architecture.

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