The Aliki Perroti & Seth Frank Lyceum will bring together the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI), the College’s History department, and other faculty members selected to drive discourse and critical thinking at Amherst College. Inspired by the Lyceum of Ancient Athens, spaces are arranged in a way that encourages interaction, collaboration and conversation for faculty, students and the greater Amherst College community.
The project incorporates a historic house on the site with new construction for fellows, faculty, students and the community to explore the human condition. The house interior will be modified for the new program of offices, classrooms and support spaces. A new two-story addition is placed next to the existing house along Pleasant Street, separated by a transparent exterior wall. These two elements contain the larger, more public spaces, an event space and a flexible classroom. A new three-story office wing wraps behind the existing house and creates a linear band of offices looking west. The design intends to leverage the adjacencies of offices, classrooms, a ground floor event space, and an outdoor terrace all connected by an open commons. This central space establishes places for the community to share thoughts, ideas, and work.
The Lyceum will be a “smartly sustainable” building, designed to support Amherst College’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030 and showcase low carbon construction. For both the interior and exterior, the materials palette will prioritize those with lower amounts of embodied carbon and products that can store carbon, such as wood and other plant-based materials. The envelope will be highly insulative and airtight. When coupled with efficient mechanical systems, this project will demonstrate how buildings can dramatically reduce their impact from construction, and through their operational life. Indoor air quality, operable windows, a daylighting strategy, and views to the surrounding environment are additional considerations to improve occupant wellbeing.