Hall Greens the Valley
By Isabel Barrios ’10
month Ford Hall is being showcased for the first time in
its short history as one among a handful of buildings in
the Pioneer Valley emphasizing sustainable, contemporary
architecture and environmentally responsible building practices.
An exhibition, opens
Thursday, February 11, in the University
Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Fine Arts
Center. A public opening reception will take place from
5 to 7 p.m.
From the exhibition: a "green" residence in Amherst
(photo by Jeff Yardis).
Ford Hall, a consummate example of green architecture,
inspired the exhibition "Greening the Valley."
Ford Hall's numerous windows allow lots of light and
passive heat inside.
“Greening the Valley” showcases local examples of contemporary architecture that
make use of technologies and design strategies friendly to the environment. The
selection of buildings in the exhibition ranges from private residences to academic
buildings and designed landscapes among others. The buildings represent the collective
effort of institutions, building owners and designers to collaborate in the fight
against the current environmental crisis.
The exhibition and its different
components seek not only to teach about the concept of sustainability
but also how we can actively take care of the environment
in our homes and communities. Accompanying lectures as well
as a database on information on sustainability and local
providers of environmentally friendly construction materials
and designers will complement the exhibition.
Ford Hall is
an integral part of Smith’s ongoing sustainability
program and the most outstanding example of green architecture on campus. The
building was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, an architectural firm recognized
for its green designs. Ford Hall’s design uses sustainable technologies and strategies
that reduce the consumption of energy and make effective use of natural resources,
like sun light and rain water, and employs recycled material. One of the highlights
of Ford Hall is its roof garden, which reduces the amount of runoff storm-water
while providing a colorful landscape.
, Smith’s facility for engineering
and sciences, illustrates a current trend of green architecture among college
campuses and contributed to the conception of “Greening the Valley.”
“Learning about Ford Hall and Smith's efforts at sustainability was part of recognizing
a larger pattern of building emerging on college campuses,” commented architectural
historian Margaret Birney Vickery, curator of the exhibition. “As I kept seeing
more sprouting up around me, I thought about bringing them to the public's notice
through an exhibition. So Ford Hall was another piece in the puzzle, spurring
me to find a way to make the exhibition happen.”
For the past
five weeks I have been volunteering at the University Gallery
in the assembly of “Greening the Valley.” My volunteer
position is part of the practical experience requirements
for completing the new offered at Smith
as of last year. The program’s aim
is to introduce students to the field of museums.
of the will take place Thursday,
Feb. 11, at 12:15 p.m. in Campus Center 103/104.
Applications for the program are due by March 15.
Volunteering for “Greening
the Valley” has helped me understand more about the many components that form
an exhibition and how they work together. I have helped in the development of
educational material, the physical installation of the exhibition and the publicity
of the event.
Although the Museums Concentration
is a new program, students at Smith have been interested
in working for museums for a long time. Many alumnae have
entered the field successfully. This year a handful of seniors
will complete the academic requirements and practical experiences
at museums and other cultural institutions for the concentration.
We will be the first generation of students to complete the
Most students interested in
the Museums Concentration are art history, art studio and
architecture majors. However, the concentration is open to
any student interested in the field of museums regardless
of academic field. All seniors in the concentration must
complete a final capstone project, which they will present
as part of “Celebrating Collaborations,” the annual showcase
of student presentations, this year on April 17.
“Greening the Valley” will be
on display in the University Gallery through May 9.