GRADUATE DESIGN IV
The Springﬁeld Community Center for the Arts
Pynchon Plaza, Springﬁeld, Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Architecture + Design Program
Department of Art, Architecture and Art History
Spring Semester, 2010
to Court Square
Physical Barriers Social Divide
Pynchon Plaza is the intersection of many of Springﬁeld’s assets. Art museums, theatre, entertainment, historic A gap exists between the art world of the quadrangle and those who live in the adjacent low income housing
sites, cultural markets, restaurants, and colleges are within walking distance of the site. Currently Pynchon Plaza towers. The future of downtown Springﬁeld depends upon the ability of its current population to move upwardly
is a barrier, not only as a means of travel from the Quadrangle to Court Square, but also a social barricade and from impoverished conditions to a place of prosperity and self-reliance, not on the inﬂux of some ﬁctitious group of
a blight to the surrounding community. The Quadrangle is also a stockade, turned inward, with its back to the middle class people. Rather than strategizing ways to make downtown Springﬁeld a more desirable metropolitan
community. The lack of openness in downtown Springﬁeld leaves the community alone and under served. area for Pioneer Valley suburbanites to visit, revitalization efforts should focus on ways to accentuate the assets
Springﬁeld already has in its present community.
= gated or walled streetscape = low income housing
A Bridge to a Better Springﬁeld
Springﬁeld Community Center for the Arts would be a building that brings
together two major assets surrounding Pynchon Plaza, Springﬁeld’s
youth and the museums of the Quadrangle. Historically it has been artist
and student populations that precede the turnaround of declining urban
neighborhoods. By creating an art education facility for the community
in Springﬁeld’s metro center, the goal is to foster an artist culture and
tap into the undeveloped potential of Springﬁeld’s youth. In doing so, the
hope is to eliminate displacement from the gentriﬁcation equation and
replace it with empowerment.
Connecting Art and Community
Springﬁeld Community Center for the Arts is a place to explore and learn.
Many interesting points of discovery appear as visitors wind their way
from Dwight Street to Chestnut Street. The ﬁnal arrival point is the Dr.
Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in the Quadrangle. Perhaps someday
the art work of Springﬁeld residents trained at the former Pynchon Plaza
will grace the walls of Quadrangle museums.
FROM THE COMMUNITY TO THE QUADRANGLE
Enriching the Lives of Springﬁeld Youth through Art Education
circulation + mechanical core circulation + mechanical core
print making classroom ceramics classroom
photography classroom painting classroom
contemporary art museum
art school entrance Chestnut St.
+ sculpture park
youth center community fountain
recreation area ofﬁces
yc yc patio mural wall
Dwight St. assembly hall community kitchen
0 2’ 4’ 8’ 16’ 24’ 40’
Dwight St. entrance youth center patio + mural wall
sculpture park + lower museum entrance Chestnut St. + Quadrangle connection