Amherst College Greenway

Amherst College Greenway

In 2013, MVVA was invited to help develop the Amherst College Framework Plan in collaboration with Beyer Blinder Belle, Kyu Sung Woo Architects, and Payette Architects. The plan integrates four new dormitory buildings and a 250,000-square-foot science center into the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed campus. The Greenway was at the heart of this effort, linking the dorms and the science center while creating a new landscape typology that brings the historic campus into the 21st century.

The Greenway complements the expansive, sloping site by sculpting distinct spaces into the newly planted topography: an earthen amphitheater designed to accommodate the entire campus community, a terraced orchard of flowering trees to celebrate spring’s return after the long New England winters, and a broad lawn bowl to support a wide range of activities.

The Greenway creates a new recreational and social hub, bringing unity and cohesion to nearly 20 acres of campus and two centuries of incremental development.

Woven into the Greenway landscape is a network of more intimate gathering spaces designed to meet the needs of contemporary undergraduate life. The new dormitories are clustered around a central plaza with café tables, terraced seating, informal courts for basketball and beach volleyball, and a new rock garden.

At the other end of the Greenway, small gardens and terraces flank the science center, and a new fire pit creates an extended front porch for the existing student center.