Yesterday's exhibit at Wentworth Institute of Technology was well worth the trip. The Wentworth students showed incredible vision in their work of repurposing the Medfield State Hospital Lee Chapel building and some of the students included the Club House building as well as the Infirmary building into their design.
The students were limited in how they could re-use these buildings. They had to choose from one of the following 5 options:
A Culinary Center
A Center for the Arts
Student Union and Library for a Community College
Museum and Visitors Center
Outpatient and Clinical Research Center
Back in January of this year, these students toured the Lee Chapel and walked the MSH properties and I asked many of them to give me their feelings about that visit.
Most students saw the beauty in the Chapel, the other brick structures and the surrounding open space and although the building was dark and cold when they visited, they could see past the present state of decline, and had the vision to design these re-use projects.
The students were provided with copies of the original architectural drawings and after completing initial designs, they then collaborated with other Wentworth students in the areas of Construction Management, Civil Engineering, Structural Design, Mechanical Design and Facilities Management to create innovative and creative plans for the site.
Law students were also involved regarding major legal issues such as bylaws and hazardous waste disposal. In total, over 90 students worked on these projects under coordination and direction of seven faculty members.
The Culinary Center proposal used the surrounding agricultural lands as their source of food, including green houses for the winter months. Three Museum and Visitor Center proposals included a theater, historical museum that could include gallery space for a history of the hospital, history of treatment for mental illness, and even space or home for the Medfield Historical Society. The Center for the Arts adopted the Chapel for a performing arts theater and surrounding space for work areas, studios, and cafes.
For additional information please contact Prof. Charles Cimino at 617-989-4467 / firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gil Rodgers at 617-792-0583 / email@example.com.