Cambridge College

Sense of Place for a Diverse Student Body

Located in the historic Hood Park in Charlestown, Cambridge College’s new Boston campus is a 108,000 SF fit out that includes 45 classrooms ranging from 10 to 35 students, 2 teaching labs, computer labs, offices and community space.

The overarching goal for the relocation of Cambridge College is to propel its academic and social missions. Many decisions throughout the process were guided by the College’s ideals of enabling its students to achieve their academic goals.

The design facilitates processes so that students can focus on their education. This starts with the location of the new campus, chosen, partly, because of its easy access. The campus is right off Interstate 93, near Sullivan Square and the MBTA Orange line, and and has ample parking. There is also a ‘one-stop’ student services wing to allow efficient service and interactions. Throughout the space, students and staff are provided with several types of lounge and study spaces that encourage independent study and hope to facilitate students’ focus on their degree, in the moments they are able to step away from home and work.

The heart of the space is the ‘Town Common’, a multi-purpose space that holds both Cambridge College and community events and gives the College a place to have large gatherings.

The Boston campus houses the School of Undergraduate Studies, the School of Education, School of Management and the School of Psychology and Counseling. All faculty offices are together in hopes of creating interactions between the schools that will encourage faculty to explore new pedagogies and share ideas.

The College also wanted to use this opportunity to establish a campus with a clear identity. The design uses the main atrium in Hood Park as a ‘piazza’ from which a 3-lobby system welcomes visitors to the three wings of the College. Each of the lobbies displays the Cambridge College identity and establishes a point of arrival.  In the main wing of the college, a system of ‘streets’ guides the visitor through the space.

Glass and color are used through the space to provide a sense of brightness. A good portion of classes takes place at night and the building has a deep floor plate, making the choice of light fixtures an important design element. Finishes and furniture aim at creating a professional setting that celebrates the diversity of the student body. Inspirational quotes on the walls were carefully chosen by the College to remind visitors of the College’s mission to provide academic opportunities to adults for whom those opportunities may have been limited or denied.


Charlestown, MA

Building Type

Classrooms, Labs, Offices, Community Space


108,000 SF

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