Mass Ave. Transformation

By 
Marjorie O'Malley

Following years of a comprehensive institutional master planning process, the college identified its most pressing needs and undertook construction of a new building at 160 Massachusetts Avenue last spring. The mixed-use development of a 155,000-square-foot, 16-story building will include 370 beds for student housing on the top 12 floors, enabling the college for the first time, to house all its entering students. These students will enjoy expanded practice and ensemble space, community rooms and, in another first, a fitness center.

The lower levels feature floor-to-ceiling glass to showcase performances taking place within the building. With an eye toward meeting Berklee’s constant need for flexible space, the 400-seat dining hall is designed to be used as a performance venue. Also enclosed by glass, the street level will include a new restaurant, further completing the revitalization of this area.

Although hidden from public view from its underground location, the new two-story Technology Center will once again demonstrate Berklee’s leadership in music technology. The center offers a dazzling array of facilities. For example, the scoring stage in studio one will accommodate a string orchestra, musical theater orchestra, and other large ensembles and allow live scoring to visual media. A second studio on level one can be linked to the scoring stage for larger sessions and expand the opportunities for scoring to visual elements.

A second level contains production suites containing mix and production studios enabling students to develop, produce, design, and complete projects in advanced professional production facilities. An additional tracking and mixing studio with isolation booths, together with a “mix-to-pix” dub stage that allows students to mix music, sound effects, and dialogue to picture, will be among the most comprehensive studio complexes in the country.

It is hard to overstate the transformational impact of this building on the educational offerings afforded to Berklee students, the sense of community that will be created by concentrating vital activities in one location and the positive effect of the project on the immediate neighborhood and the city as a whole.

Namesakes

The following individuals among the many generous donors who have stepped forward to support the 160 Massachusetts Avenue project by naming or creating facilities within the building.

  • Anonymous
  • Diana Baxter and Thomas Krahn
  • Ernie Boch Jr. ’82
  • Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser
  • Foundation
  • Donna and James Chambers
  • Lori and Peter Comeau
  • Dinah and Fred Gretsch
  • Lisa K. Hilton
  • Timothy and Natalie Hyland
  • Pam Kohlberg and Kurt Greer
  • Chuck McDermott
  • Robert and Megan O’Block
  • Ivan and Tina Rafowitz
  • Teri and Morton Salomon
  • James and Virginia Scully

For information about naming opportunities at Berklee’s 160 Massachusetts Avenue building, contact Marjorie O’Malley at (617) 747-2569 or momalley@berklee.edu.