Two new residence halls for Lesley University house 98 undergraduate students on a campus site that is also part of Cambridge’s Agassiz neighborhood. The design team worked with Lesley University and neighborhood groups to meet Lesley’s housing goals and the neighborhood’s objectives for retail and street presence. This process was remarkably effective; the neighborhood group itself wanted to go to the City of Cambridge in support of the project, asking the City to waive a significant number of zoning constraints.
There are two buildings: one, a modern structure on Massachusetts Avenue with Norman brick and clapboard, houses 80 beds, retail space on the ground floor, and an RA apartment. The other, a three-story “Victorian,” transitions from the smaller-scaled neighborhood buildings in the interior streets to the larger structures along the avenue.
Both buildings are designed to LEED Gold standards with extremely efficient shells and advanced HVAC/heat recovery systems. Valence heating and cooling is used throughout. Operation has shown that the new buildings use 43% of the energy consumed by other equivalent buildings on campus.