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Fiocchi, L. Carl

Degree held:

BA- Neurophysiology, University of Pennsylvania
M.Arch, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Degree in Progress:

Ph.D. Building Systems


Energy Analysis of the Three Dominant Modernist Buildings at University of Massachusetts – Amherst:  Lincoln Campus Center and Hotel, W.E.B. Dubois Library, and Fine Arts Center


fiocchi “at”


Teaching Fellow/Instructor


Energy and Buildings (BCT597E) Spring 2013                                                Teaching Fellow
Green Building and Historic Preservation (ArchDes 697K) Fall 2012             Instructor
Green Building and Historic Preservation (ArchDes 597K) Fall 2011             Teaching Fellow
Energy and Buildings (BCT597G) Fall 2010, 2011, 2012                                Teaching Fellow
Building Environmental Systems (ECO 697) Spring 2011, 2012                     Teaching Fellow
Building Energy Modeling (ECO791) Fall 2010, 2011                                     Teaching Fellow


Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
University of Massachusetts, Department of Architecture
University of Massachusetts, Department of Environmental Conservation
United States Green Building Council

USGBC Massachusetts Chapter

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Simi T. Hoque

Project Abstract:

This project presents a methodology for detailed energy analyses of the three dominant Modernist buildings on the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass-Amherst) campus. Each building is a product of the drawing board of a world class Modernist architect, Marcel Breuer (Lincoln Campus Center and Hotel), Edward Durrell Stone (W.E.B. Dubois Library), and Kevin Roche (Fine Arts Center).  These three buildings alone and in concert represent the apotheosis of the collection of Modernist buildings on the Western Massachusetts campus.

The collection exists because, in 1961, on the heels of selecting landscape architect Hideo Sasaki of Sasaki, Walker and Associates to develop and design a master plan for UMass-Amherst, the trustees made a deliberate decision that in contrast to many older universities that had developed campuses in the Gothic Revival and Colonial Revival styles that they would retain world-class modernist architects for the design of the key campus buildings.

These three buildings, in collective, form the north-south spine and geographic center of the central campus.  They both flank and embrace the University’s original library and now iconic Chapel (representing the traditional architecture of the campus).  Each building in turn serves as an embodiment of a university ideal or function.  The Fine Art Center is the northern anchor at the campus’s main entrance, Haggis Mall.  Originally framing the view to the Chapel and pond, Library, and Campus Center its six hundred foot long elevated entablature of studios forms an imposing gate to the campus as it defines the western edge of the central campus.  The Library, towering twenty eight floors above the campus, is a physical underscoring of the University’s intellectual and academic resources.  Finally, the massive sculptural form of the Campus Center and Hotel, rising from its stepped plinth, engenders a feeling of solidity, permanence, and destination to the University’s guests and students alike.

These buildings in consort create a conversation of geometries with each other that is amplified a thousand fold by their scale.  It is not an intimate conversation, but rather one that is quite public.  Now in the early part of the twenty-first century, as climate change and energy costs are a preeminent part of any building professional’s considerations it is of great importance that these buildings and lesser members of their architectural fraternity be examined and that conversation responded to.

Designed and built during the 1960s and early 1970s when energy resources were thought to be unlimited and anthropogenic climate impact not thought to be possible, except by a very few, these buildings often bear the brunt of harsh criticism.  To many architecture traditionalists their modernist styling and huge scale are not endearing attributes.  Coupled with twenty-first century energy costs and the related carbon impact on the planet the buildings can be placed in a very harsh light.

However, these buildings represent over 10% (905,120 square feet) of the University built environment.   Their embodied energy is enormous.  Their iconography for the University invaluable. Their contribution to the architectural history of the campus intrinsic. Their possibility for example incalculable.


Fiocchi, L. Carl,  McCusker, Katherine, Weil, Benjamin S.; Holdsworth Retrofit and Renovation.  Report for University of Massachusetts-Amherst Facilities and Planning, Green Building Committee, and Campus Sustainability Initiative (October 2012)

Fiocchi,C., Shahadat,M., and Hoque,S.;  Climate Responsive Design and the Milam Residence.  Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 11 (November 2011).

Fiocchi, L.Carl, Hoque, Simi T.; Sustaining Modernity: An Analysis of a Modern Masterpiece, The Gropius House, accepted for the 13th Annual Conference on Building Science and Technology (Winnipeg, Canada, May 2011).

Fiocchi, Louis Carl; A Sustainable Design for the American Commercial Strip Mall [Thesis] University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2010.

Updated: February 15, 2013