Update on the Barn!

Welcome to the Rehamping the Barn blog! This project has been ongoing throughout the year and will be continuing into upcoming semesters, so stay tuned. For information about where this project has come from, and what work we (as students) have been doing alongside the faculty, staff and adminstration, please see the About Us page, and the Rehamping student group blog

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Over the past few weeks we have met with President Lash, Facilities and Grounds, local landscape architects and architects, as well as all the proposal writers (excepting those that wrote the anonymously written Library proposal, and the student union proposal). All these conversations have helped our class focus and expand our understandings of the proposals and campus, allowing us to zone in on potentially amazing site & program combinations.

As a class we have zoned in on two sites, behind the Library, and between Cole Science and Institutional Advancement. The President is excited about both these spaces, and we are further exploring the potential relationships these sites pose. As a class we have also come to consensus, again with the approval of the President, that Mixed Nuts and a gathering space, perhaps influenced by the Creativity Center or Creative Connections, would best fit the President’s vision and our understandings of the communities needs given the size of the barn.

PROGRAM

President Lash visited the Rehamping the Barn course a few weeks ago to discuss his vision for the “Program” of the Barn once it is relocated to the campus.

The President saw a need as articulated in many of the proposals for a space that is “by students, for students and managed by students.” He clarified that Hampshire college will support this structure through maintenance.

He indicated that the Barn should be a space that all students can be proud of and want to show off to the wider world – it must have a creative/sustainable/unique form and program.

He would like the Barn to be an invitation for all current students and student groups to utilize, as well as be flexible as to adapt to the changing needs and desires of future members of the community.

While President Lash indicated that cost should not be the limiting factor on creativity, he also acknowledged that the more we focus our resources, the easier it will be to fund-raise and the sooner we will be able to break ground.


CONVERSATIONS

President Lash  asked the Rehamping the Barn class to gather more specific information about the “best fits” from the proposals with this Program, to review acceptable sites on campus that would match up with the Program, and to report back to him. To best design this Program the class reached out to the proposal writers to ask for their advice and ideas about what a student driven space would look like on Hampshire Campus, and how it might function to fit those groups needs.

We recognize that it is not possible for all needs to be met by this one thousand square foot barn, but we hoped that the President’s vision could resonate in some way with each group. Those that could joined us in hour long blocks to discuss the ways in which the group’s engagement with the barn could look like.

To read a comprehensive document summarizing the conversations with each proposal writer, see this link

SITE

We had the opportunity to work with Director of Facilities and Grounds, Larry Archey and landscapers and designers from Kuhn Riddle and Berkshire Design, in surveying the campus looking for viable sites. Referencing these interviews as data, we have been diagramming potential programs in concert with potential sites. We hope to open the conversation about site to the campus to gather feedback and further the transparent narrative of this process.

The Barn Project has set a precedent for a new way of collaboratively thinking about and working with spaces on campus that is already having an impact on all campus space discussions. Thus far this process has been an incredibly positive experience in that everyone has been consistently working towards the goal of having the barn create the largest positive impact possible.

We began our study of site by asking each proposal writer to identify on a map a space (or spaces) that they believed their  program would best fit. We grouped these sites into five areas seen below:

We broke into groups and explored these sites in relation to surrounding buildings, circulation, as well as the site’s relationship to sun, existing foliage and slope of ground.

We surveyed the Hampshire community to gain an understanding of where people move on campus, and what the most traveled pathways are. This helped us understand how the barn location may alter circulation.

We came to a consensus that two of the most exciting spaces were between Cole and Institutional Advancement, below the Library Lawn and above Prescott. Other options are still on the table, but there was a general sense that both of these places posed exciting possibilities.

Here is an example of a preliminary exploration of the site in behind the library.

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