The Tree House Residence Hall at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Boston
Height
1
To Tip:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

85.3 m / 280 ft
2
Architectural:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

85.3 m / 280 ft
3
Occupied:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.

74.4 m / 244 ft
Floors
Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

21
1 2 3 The Tree House Residence Hall at Massachusetts College of Art and Design Outline
Height 85.3 m / 280 ft
Floors 21
Official Name

The current legal building name.

The Tree House Residence Hall at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Other Names

Other names the building has commonly been known as, including former names, common informal names, local names, etc.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design New Residence Hall
Type

CTBUH collects data on two major types of tall structures: 'Buildings' and 'Telecommunications / Observation Towers.' A 'Building' is a structure where at least 50% of the height is occupied by usable floor area. A 'Telecommunications / Observation Tower' is a structure where less than 50% of the structure's height is occupied by usable floor area. Only 'Buildings' are eligible for the CTBUH 'Tallest Buildings' lists.

Building
Status
Completed
Architecturally Topped Out
Structurally Topped Out
Under Construction
Proposed
On Hold
Never Completed
Vision
Competition Entry
Canceled
Proposed Renovation
Under Renovation
Renovated
Under Demolition
Demolished
Completed, 2012
Country

The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of Country, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

City

The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of City, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

Postal Code
02115
Function

A single-function tall building is defined as one where 85% or more of its usable floor area is dedicated to a single usage. Thus a building with 90% office floor area would be said to be an "office" building, irrespective of other minor functions it may also contain.

A mixed-use tall building contains two or more functions (or uses), where each of the functions occupy a significant proportion of the tower's total space. Support areas such as car parks and mechanical plant space do not constitute mixed-use functions. Functions are denoted on CTBUH "Tallest Building" lists in descending order, e.g., "hotel/office" indicates hotel function above office function.

residential
Structural Material

Steel
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from steel. Note that a building of steel construction with a floor system of concrete planks or concrete slab on top of steel beams is still considered a “steel” structure as the concrete elements are not acting as the primary structure.

Reinforced Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from concrete which has been cast in place and utilizes steel reinforcement bars.

Precast Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning system are constructed from steel reinforced concrete which has been precast as individual components and assembled together on-site.

Mixed-Structure
Utilizes distinct systems (e.g. steel, concrete, timber), one on top of the other. For example, a steel/concrete indicates a steel structural system located on top of a concrete structural system, with the opposite true of concrete/steel.

Composite
A combination of materials (e.g. steel, concrete, timber) are used together in the main structural elements. Examples include buildings which utilize: steel columns with a floor system of reinforced concrete beams; a steel frame system with a concrete core; concrete-encased steel columns; concrete-filled steel tubes; etc. Where known, the CTBUH database breaks out the materials used in a composite building’s core, columns, and floor spanning separately.

steel
Energy Label
LEED Silver
Architectural

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

85.3 m / 280 ft
To Tip

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

85.3 m / 280 ft
Occupied

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.

74.4 m / 244 ft
Floors Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

21
# of Apartments

Number of Apartments refers to the total number of residential units (including both rental units and condominiums) contained within a particular building.

137
# of Elevators

Number of Elevators refers to the total number of elevator cars (not shafts) contained within a particular building (including public, private and freight elevators).

3
Tower GFA

Tower GFA refers to the total gross floor area within the tower footprint, not including adjoining podiums, connected buildings or other towers within the development.

13,519 m² / 145,517 ft²
Construction Schedule
2008

Proposed

2010

Construction Start

2012

Completed

Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Owner
Massachusetts State College Building Authority
Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Odeh Engineers, Inc.
MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Contractor
Main Contractor

The main contractor is the supervisory contractor of all construction work on a project, management of sub-contractors and vendors, etc. May be referred to as "Construction Manager," however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Main Contractor" exclusively.

Suffolk Construction Company, Inc.
Other Consultant

Other Consultant refers to other organizations which provided significant consultation services for a building project (e.g. wind consultants, environmental consultants, fire and life safety consultants, etc).

Code
C3

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Americas 2013 Award of Excellence

2013 CTBUH Awards

CTBUH Initiatives

Tree House Residence Hall as Featured Building

15 February 2014 - Featured Building

Videos

07 November 2013 | Boston

Best Tall Building Featured Finalist: Tree House Residence Hall: Students in the Sky

Created on a limited public-university budget and an aggressive schedule, the Tree House achieves environmental conservation goals while still providing a memorable environment for students....

Research

01 February 2014

Case Study: Tree House Residence Hall, Boston

B. K. Boley & Tamara Roy, ADD Inc

The Tree House, a 20-story residential tower for 493 freshmen, is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s painting, The Tree of Life. It is clad in more...

About The Tree House Residence Hall at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

This new residence tower results from a highly unusual collaborative process and responds to the unique living/learning requirements of art school students. Inspired by Gustav Klimt’s painting Tree of Life, this innovative high-rise includes 493 beds for freshmen and sophomores in 136 suites configured in one, two, or three-bedroom layouts. The project features a ground floor café and living room, a second-floor health center; and a “Pajama Floor” at the third level with communal kitchen, game room, laundry facilities, and fitness center. Studio spaces alternate with lounges on the 17 upper floors.

The new tower is located along Boston’s Huntington Avenue, in a heterogeneous neighborhood of warm-toned, brick buildings, residence halls, and academic facilities. The MBTA’s Green Line passes directly in front of the site and the Colleges of the Fenway path bounds the southern edge. The project’s curved stone base accommodates an underground tunnel that swerves through the site and required architects to cantilever the rectangular building above.

During the design process, the team worked to harmonize the goals and aspirations of professors, administrators, students, trustees, alumni, city and state agencies, neighbors, and the building’s owner. The architect conducted in-depth benchmarking, hosted focus groups and an 85-person design charrette, and developed full-scale mock-up units for students to experience and critique. Students in the college’s architecture and interior design programs helped shape some of the project’s common areas, including the ground floor café. Lean construction methods were used to fast-track building trades and bring the project to completion three months before the fall opening.

The exterior is an organic mosaic of over 5,000 composite aluminum panels of varying depths and hues. Dark browns at the base mirror tree bark before growing progressively lighter to make the building appear taller and lighter in the skyline. Green window panels punctuate the façade like the leaves of a tree.

The project’s interior spaces are infused with art ranging from commissioned alumni pieces in the lobby to a rotating gallery on the third floor. While the budget did not allow for expensive finishes, designers drew on the possibilities of modest materials such as carpet and paint to develop a bold visual statement that activates the space through color.
The residence hall’s design and engineering decisions were made with solar orientation in mind. Windows on the tower’s north side provide light favorable to the work of resident art students, while the smaller number of windows on the south side help reduce heat. The windows are operable and the school employs an electronic system that informs students of advisable times to open or close them.

The building received a Silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and its energy usage is 22 percent more efficient than code mandates. Other green features include double insulated metal panels, and low- flow plumbing fixtures that reduce the amount of potable water usage by 33 percent. More than 50 percent of the material used in the residential hall has recycled content, 20 percent from local sources, and 70 percent of the wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Americas 2013 Award of Excellence

2013 CTBUH Awards

07 November 2013 | Boston

Created on a limited public-university budget and an aggressive schedule, the Tree House achieves environmental conservation goals while still providing a memorable environment for students....

07 November 2013 | Boston

B.K. Boley of ADD Inc discusses the Tree House Residence Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, a Finalist for Best Tall Building Americas. The artful and organic...

01 February 2014

B. K. Boley & Tamara Roy, ADD Inc

The Tree House, a 20-story residential tower for 493 freshmen, is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s painting, The Tree of Life. It is clad in more...

15 February 2014

Tree House Residence Hall as Featured Building

Created on a limited public-university budget and an aggressive schedule, the Tree House represents a well-considered solution that announces itself as a foundry of inspiration.