HMFH Architects

Van Meter Hall
UMass Amherst

Amherst, MA

The renovation of a 1940s residential hall on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst was informed by a study focused on what makes the best residential life environments. Van Meter’s traditional architecture is restored and updated with the introduction of transparent walls, vibrant colors, bold floor and ceiling patterns, and dramatic lighting, creating a home for students that fosters creativity, connection, and learning.

HMFH has revitalized Van Meter Hall and created a dynamic environment for socializing and learning... establishing a positive first home-away-from-home experience for UMass students.

Cleve Carrens UMass Capital Projects Manager
  • Beds 400
  • Size 86,500 ft2

The importance of fostering interaction has played a significant role in the design for improvements at Van Meter Hall.

The traditional ‘old school’ residence has central common space on its two lower floors. The redesign of these areas has sought to create inviting and welcoming spots to ease the first-year resident’s transition into a new community. With casual seating that offers some privacy without sacrificing visibility, a communal after-hours kitchen, gallery display space (most residents are in fine or performing arts), logical circulation through, and new common areas are designed to welcome all residents and visitors.


UMass Amherst envisioned a living space that invites students out of their rooms into vibrant common areas that promote interaction and communication. This project creates a space for young artists to explore their interests and ideas, create a community, and a home within the university campus.

Laura Wernick, FAIAHMFH Architects
View All Projects