Boston – HMFH Architects completed a renovation of an aging mid-century residence hall at Tufts University that now features a variety of new social and community spaces for first-year students. The updated Bush Hall also provides contemporary student housing that is affordable, convenient, and meets students’ needs in ways unimagined when many dorms were built a half century ago.
Utilizing combined funds for deferred maintenance, residential life and expanding beds, the design also updated exterior windows, lighting fixtures and HVAC systems to make the building more sustainable while keeping with Bush Hall’s original aesthetic.
Commodore Builders managed the construction over two consecutive summer phases, eliminating the prospect of any temporary loss of beds.
In choosing to upgrade Bush Hall, Tufts’ goal was to have first-year students engage with their peers both socially and academically. To accomplish this and expand the number of beds, former faculty quarters and storage space on the ground floor were repurposed as new common areas, designed to promote different levels of camaraderie.
A new kitchen allows students to cook communal meals, dine together, or make a quick snack during study sessions. A new laundry room features comfortable seating and a large table with space for students to socialize or study while waiting for their laundry.
Flexible collaborative spaces feature Bluetooth-enabled screens that can display a course presentation or stream entertainment. Similarly-adaptable and larger gathering spaces support performances, poetry slams, and visiting lecturers. These ground floor “public” spaces also serve neighboring first-year residence halls to create community among residents of adjacent campus buildings.