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 to house all of its entering students for the first time. These students will enjoy expanded practice and ensemble space, community rooms and, in another first, a fitness center.

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

Diana Baxter and Thomas Krahn
Ernie Boch Jr. '82
Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser
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

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 will expand the opportunities for scoring to visual elements.

A second level contains production suites offering mixing and production studios that will enable 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.


Marjorie O’Malley is assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement


For information about naming opportunities at Berklee’s 160 Massachusetts Avenue building, contact Marjorie O’Malley at (617) 747-2569 or via email at