ARC and ZGF Design 9-Story Research Building for UMass Medical School


WORCESTER, MA – A new nine-story biomedical research building at the University of Massachusetts Medical School will support the development of therapeutics for some of the world’s most challenging diseases.

The 350,000-square-foot New Education and Research Building, designed by architecture firms ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and ZGF, is expected to open in the fall of 2023. This UMass Building Authority project includes Terva | Trident as owner’s project manager and Shawmut Design and Construction as the project’s construction manager.

“The New Education and Research Building plays a key role in the future of our institution,” said UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “By co-locating strategic research programs and leveraging the power of collaboration, we will be able to fulfill our vision of life-changing therapies for some of the most intractable diseases we face.”

The new building responds to demands in the Commonwealth and across the nation for more health professionals and life science researchers and will help attract top scientists and students to Worcester. Space is planned for a projected 77 principal investigators, and the building will house the Medical School’s Horae Gene Therapy Center; the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology; the Program in Molecular Medicine; a new Program in Human Genetics & Evolutionary Biology; and an FDA-compliant manufacturing facility for clinical trial therapeutics.

“At a time in our history when scientific discovery is so vital to public health, our team is proud to be designing a facility that will expand the mission and capacity of the UMass Medical research community,” said Bryan Thorp, Associate Principal at ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge. “Everyone involved with the project is inspired by the dedication and commitment of the individuals behind this ongoing Worcester success story.”

Designed to meet ambitious sustainability goals, to include achieving Net Zero Energy and LEED Gold Certification, the building’s architecture integrates high-performance systems, including a double-skin façade and geothermal heat pumps. On the interior, the design emphasizes natural daylighting and transparency, active circulation, and generous social and interaction spaces to foster a productive and healthy environment for discovery and innovation.

“Through the mission of the UMMS researchers that will inhabit it and its high-performance architecture, the New Education and Research Building will address two grand challenges facing society: the threat of new and emerging diseases and the climate crisis,” says Toby Hasselgren, Partner at ZGF.