Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA  USA

Client: Brandeis University

Scope: Gateway building; offers official welcome to prospective students; three waiting areas; 100-seat presentation room; administration offices; LEED Silver

Sited near the campus entrance, the admissions center is one of the first buildings that visitors see when entering Brandeis. First impressions were important to our clients when we began talks about design. Several questions became the basis of our work: How might the building accommodate large numbers of people and still feel intimate? How could the architecture impress—but not overwhelm—prospective students?

We knew Brandeis well when we started this project: Charles Rose Architects completed the Campus Center, which is sited directly across from the admissions center. We linked the admissions building closely to the campus center by creating another sculptural design with limestone and abundant glass. The ground floor public space needed to be able to accommodate 100 visitors at a time. To create a more personal and intimate feel, we designed three separate waiting areas rather than herd people into one large area. The waiting areas are warm and light-filled; one has a fireplace; all have generous views of the campus.

Materials: Limestone; bush-hammered concrete; exposed aggregate concrete; stainless steel; aluminum windows; artisan plaster; acoustical plaster; American sycamore paneling

American Institute of Architects New England, Citation Award for Design Excellence
Boston Society of Architects, Design Award
Building Stone Institute, Tucker Award of Excellence
Society of American Registered Architects New York, Design Excellence Award
Society of American Registered Architects, National Design Honor Award

Landscape Architect: Reed Hilderbrand LLC.
Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering
Geotechnical Engineer: McPhail Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer: RSE Associates, Inc.
Lighting Consultant: PHT Lighting Design Inc.
Acoustical & IT Consultant: Acentech Inc.
Code Consultant: R.W. Sullivan Engineering

Photographers: John Edward Linden Photography; Peter Vanderwarker