Designed by Ann Beha Architects, New England Conservatory Adds First New Building in 60 Years


BOSTON–This fall, New England Conservatory’s students and faculty will perform, rehearse, and celebrate music in a new setting — the first new building added to NEC’s Boston campus in 60 years.

The Student Life and Performance Center (SLPC) sets a high bar for talented students and the NEC and Boston community. As America’s oldest conservatory of music, perhaps NEC is now the nation’s most youthful and innovative, training the musicians of the future.

With spaces for performance, practice, and study, the program and building confirm NEC’s commitment to excellence. It also provides new opportunities for community engagement, with public programs planned for many of its new facilities.

Designed by Ann Beha Architects, in collaboration with Gensler, the SLPC offers orchestra and jazz rehearsal rooms; a black box opera workshop; the NEC library; 256 student rooms; a dining commons; and spaces for collaboration and gathering.

The exterior is a striking composition of variegated terra cotta tiles, applied in mixed patterns, with broad glass expanses at street levels, and a stainless-steel screen cladding the performance wing. At the building base, dining and performance spaces are open to the street. An open stair connects performance floors, encouraging students and patrons to travel through the facilities.

New performance and rehearsal spaces are designed for concert acoustics. The music library and resource center offers access to the Conservatory’s remarkable collections, with project and listening rooms. The black box opera theater, with 225 retracting seats, is a tall, resonant space with an orchestra pit. The building provides extraordinary new opportunities for music, innovation, and community outreach. Its library, student gathering areas, rehearsal rooms, and performance spaces encourage study, creativity, and collaboration.

As a “game changer” building, it confirms NEC’s and Boston’s commitment to the performing arts and to each student’s future.