College Planning & Management Features Middlesex Community College: Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center
A new performing arts center for student use re-imagines an historic train depot in Lowell MA as a vibrant piece of the city, restoring the old structure and celebrating the new.

College Planning and Management featured Middlesex Community College Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, a new academic arts center that reimagines the historic Boston & Maine Railroad Depot at Towers Corner in the Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, MA.

Read article here: https://webcpm.com/articles/2019/04/01/middlesex-community-college.aspx

BD+C Features Wentworth Institute of Technology New Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences
Business, Design and Construction (BD+C) recently highlighted the New Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences

The article explains that the new building is the first academic building in 45 years. It provides a home for the next evolution in the collegiate study of multiple engineering disciplines.

Additionally, as the Institute’s program transitions from engineering technology to engineering and innovation, this four-story, 75,000-square-foot building comprises a dynamic environment for multi-disciplinary collaboration among students of biology, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and two of its newest programs, biomedical engineering, and biological engineering.

Read article here: https://www.bdcnetwork.com/center-engineering-innovation-and-sciences-opens-wentworth-institute-technology’s-boston-campus 

The Plan Award Finalist: Middlesex Community College New Academic Arts Center
Middlesex Community College Donahue Family Academic Arts Center was awarded finalist in the Plan Awards in the Renovation of existing structures category.

A new performing arts center for student use re-imagines a historic train depot in Lowell, MA as a vibrant piece of the city, restoring the old structure and celebrating the new.

A maple clad egg-shaped core is inserted within the 1876 brick shell to accommodate a proscenium theater, music recital hall, and dance studio. The efficient curved shape of the new insertion serves as the central structural element of the building, supporting new spaces within as well as bracing the restored historic structure and bringing the entirety of the Center.

The site of the new performing arts center, within the Lowell National Historic Park, is part of the renewed urban core.Along the sidewalk, a linear gallery and theater lobby display student activity and invite the public in through a main entry at the base of the landmark clock tower.The extensive renovation of an underused existing historic building in a pedestrian friendly urban center near to public transportation is at the core of the project’s approach to sustainability.


Visit Plan Magazine here to learn more and vote for the project

ArchDaily | “Architecture Making is Like the Unveiling of a Surprise”: In Conversation with Leers Weinzapfel Associates
Principals Andrea Leers FAIA, Jane Weinzapfel FAIA, Josiah Stevenson, FAIA LEED BD+C, and Tom Chung, AIA, LEED BD+C in recent ArchDaily interview with Vladimir Belogolovsky.

“Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates was founded by two women, Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel, in 1982, later joined by a next generation of partners, Josiah Stevenson, and Tom Chung. The majority of their work is done on university campuses across America, but this can hardly be identified as the firm’s focus, as campuses are actually cities in miniature, containing nearly every building type imaginable. The point of difference, however, is that campus buildings are generally designed with more idealism than projects in our chaotic cities and mundane suburbs.

The firm now numbers 30 architects—just enough staff to do the kind of work they like doing, but not exceeding the size of a familial creative studio where everyone knows each other well. It received the 2007 AIA Architecture Firm Award for their numerous complex projects, distinguished by memorable forms and expressive detailing. The following conversation with the firm’s four principals took place in their office in Boston. We discussed their aspirations, values, dreams, and why architects must be optimistic…all the time.”

Read full article here

Principal Tom Chung and Associate Ashley Rao at TIMBER+ Regional Industry Forum
Leers Weinzapfel Associates Principal Tom Chung and Associate Ashley Rao discuss their work on University of Arkansas Stadium Drive Residence Halls at the TIMBER+ Regional Industry Forum.

TIMBER+ is a recurring forum of regional timber design and construction professionals for knowledge sharing and to discuss the advancement of mass timber building industry in the US and the Northeast. At the April 9th forum, Tom Chung and Ashley Rao two discussed their work at the University of Arkansas, Nation’s first large-scale mass timber residence hall.

Learn more about Leers Weinzapfel Associates Mass Timber Research here: https://www.lwa-architects.com/engineered-timber/

Nation’s first large-scale mass timber residence hall ready for occupancy in the Fall of 2019
“The interwoven building and landscaped courtyards, terraces, and lawns; the beauty of timber structure and spaces; and the excitement of performing arts and workshop facilities will make this newest campus residential community a destination and a magnet,”
- Andrea P. Leers, FAIA, Principal, Leers Weinzapfel Associates

Leers Weinzapfel Associates leads a design collaborative which includes Modus Studio (Fayetteville, AR), Mackey Mitchell Architects (St. Louis), and OLIN (Philadelphia) for the 708 bed Stadium Drive Residence Hall project at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville. Crafted with a palette of timber, glass, and metal, it is a bold demonstration of sustainability that signifies a path to potential economic development for Arkansas’s burgeoning timber industry.

Learn more


Taking the Lead in Academic CLT Design/Construction in the U.S.
Two LWA Mass Timber projects featured in Architect’s Newspaper

Architect’s Newspaper’s “It’s all Wood, Man” January edition featured LWA projects, the UMass Amherst Design Building and Stadium Drive Residence Halls at University of Arkansas. “It’s all Wood, Man” maps out the leaders of the industry in research and development of Mas Timber across the United States, listing two LWA projects, UMass Design Building and Stadium Drive Residence Halls. Being listed twice amongst a select number of architecture firms, suggests that LWA as a clear leader in academic CLT design and construction.


Read feature here: https://archpaper.com/2019/01/january2019/

Ashley Rao AIA and Benjamin Wilcox AIA promoted to Associate

Ashley Rao is an enthusiastic and enormously capable design leader.  Her strong communication skills give her the unique ability to both coordinate complex projects within the design/consultant team and to relay project goals and design concepts to the client and general public. Ashley is a graduate of Harvard University with a master’s degree in architecture from Yale University. With prior experience at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in New Haven, CT,  Ashley is passionate about creating vibrant, sustainable buildings and urban environments, speaking nationally at seminars and on webinars about mass timber design.

Ben Wilcox joined Leers Weinzapfel in 2007 and has been a pivotal member of the design team with a special emphasis on construction and with a follow through in the field.  Within the firm, Ben is a leader in the quality control review process as well as mentoring young staff in building detailing, coordination, and project delivery. Prior to joining Leers Weinzapfel Associates Ben worked as an Assistant Civil Engineer, an Assistant Project Manager, and a Construction Operations Assistant.



Principal Andrea Leers, FAIA  Named Chair of the Boston Civic Design Commission

In 1986, the Commission was established to insure that the architecture and urban design of new projects in the City of Boston have a positive impact on the public realm.  In cooperation with the Boston Planning and Development Authority but independent of it, the work of the Commission is advisory, not legally binding.  Rather it is the best advice of a group of volunteer highly respected peers whose sole interest is in preserving the design qualities of the city they love, and embracing the future in ways that will continue to make the city beautiful, liveable, sustainable, and just.