April 24, 2014

Revitalizing Medfield State Hospital

Christina Strid, ARCH ’14, and Sabrina McCauley, BINT ’14, explain their design for a culinary school to Medfield officials

A great example of success in the interdisciplinary EPIC Learning initiative, Wentworth students from various disciplines were asked this past semester to design new uses for the Medfield State Hospital property in Medfield, Mass.

Once a prominent fixture in Medfield, the hospital opened in 1899 and included 58 buildings at its height of use. The property was closed in April 2003, however, and the town and state have struggled to find a use for its remaining buildings. Enter Wentworth.

In January, students were given the task of re-designing and expanding one of the central structures on the hospital campus. 10 different teams were created from architecture, interior design, and construction management programs, and have been managed by Associate Professor Charles Cimino, Assistant Professor Lynette Panarelli, and Associate Professor Thomas Taddeo, all of the School of Architecture, Design and Construction Management. Additionally, the teams collaborated with structural design students under the direction of Professor Garrick Goldenberg, College of Architecture, Design and Construction Management, and mechanical engineering students under the direction of College of Engineering and Technology Department Chair Michael Jackson. Students in civil engineering and facilities management also worked on the project.

In total, more than 90 students had a hand in creating designs that would incorporate a center for the arts, a museum and visitors’ center, a culinary center, a student union and library for a community college, or an outpatient and clinical research center into the Medfield property.

“The mobilization for this project has been much more dynamic than we imagined and student energy level is very high,” said Cimino during the project’s start in January.

Town of Medfield officials met with students during the semester and also attended a project showcase held at Watson Auditorium on April 17. Officials are now considering Wentworth student designs as a real possibility for the hospital campus, dependent on resources available to the town.

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