This site uses cookies to provide you with a better user experience. By using, you accept our use of cookies.Learn More

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Quad

Photo by Ed Wonsek

By re-imaging the mid-century brutalist architecture of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD), IBI Group was able to bring social interaction and a vital missing link to the design of its campus core.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA
135,000 sq ft Area
2017 Completed

Following the firm’s work on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) Campus Master Plan (CMP), the University identified this 135,000-sq. ft. space as a priority improvement project to create accessible connections and a meaningful campus social gathering space.

When a 2015 steam line replacement required the partial demolition of a Brutalist-era monumental stair within this priority improvement zone, UMassD saw this as an opportunity to implement the CMP recommendations and retained IBI Group to provide the design services. The firm’s landscape design transformed the vast concrete stair and plaza into an accessible, outdoor social space that connects the east and west side of the campus core while still honoring architect Paul Rudolph’s original design intent of setting the adjacent auditorium atop a concrete plinth.

Building on the existing architecture’s interplay with shadow, light and materials, and its historic mid-century minimalist design, the re-imagined plinth is a design of simple forms and materials. This outdoor space sets a new, welcoming tone on campus, encouraging social interaction and allowing students to enjoy the outdoors year-round. This project is an example of how re-imagining mid-century Brutalism can bring social engagement and new life to once bleak landscape spaces.

A new generation of minds is reshaping the way we approach education at all levels of learning. Well-designed public space on university campuses, like the UMassD Quad, provides a crucial meeting point and gathering place for staff, students and visitors alike.

Find out more about Learning+
John Amodeo

Principal, Landscape Architecture
Boston, MA

Boston, MA
I love to design enduring projects that have high social value, while letting the people and the site inform the design.

John Amodeo LEED AP has over 30 years of experience in landscape architecture and practices a wide range of project types from small to complex, in both the public and private sectors. His varied project types include college and university campuses, parks, market and public housing, historic landscapes, streetscapes, bikeways, and natural resource conservation. He has also prepared landscape development guidelines for municipalities with particular emphasis on sustainable development.

John has extensive experience with public process and regulatory permitting, placing particular focus on consensus building in the early phases of a project.
Since 1997, John has also been a Commissioner on the Boston Landmark Commission and the South End Landmark District Commission.

"This project was a unique collaboration with the University and the Landscape Architecture team that was started as an infrastructure necessity but ended by improving the quality of the interior quad while removing physical barriers that have hindered academic and student success."

Robert Johnson, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth