Design to Heart

WPI Featured at Gathering of Regional Architects

October 4, 2013
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 The Central Massachusetts chapter of the American Institute of Architects is hosting the annual AIA-New England Conference in Worcester on Saturday, Oct. 5. The day-long event, “Taking Design to Heart,” includes tours and presentations on the city’s architectural legacy—and future—and culminates in the presentation of design excellence awards at the DCU Center.

Assistant VP for Facilities Alfredo DiMauro, Assoc AIA, will be co-presenting with SMMA Architects on the design and construction of WPI’s parking garage and rooftop sports complex—the first of its kind in Massachusetts and the second green roof in Worcester. DiMauro also coordinated a presentation full of fifths: celebrating five Worcester buildings designed by five architects, each presented in five minutes, in a rapid-fire display of some of the best architecture in Worcester (including WPI’s LEED Gold-certified Sports and Recreation Center), plus five minutes of Q&A following each presentation. Sessions will also be held by Preservation Worcester on the city’s architecture of the past, and by NationalGrid and NSTAR on latest incentives for energy savings.

Six WPI faculty members, including department chair Tahar El-Korchi, and 17 students from the Architectural and Civil Engineering programs will attend the conference.

“I am really pleased that we have the opportunity to share our story and showcase the exciting growth we have seen at WPI,” says DiMauro, “how that has been used as part of academic course work and student projects, and how it has contributed to the growth of the community and to the beating of heart of Worcester.”

DiMauro has served on the planning committee for the event with seven architects from Central Massachusetts, including Professor Keith Chenot, AIA, from Fitchburg State University’s industrial technology program, and Rep. Christopher Walsh, AIA, D-Framingham.

After a luncheon talk by Chamber of Commerce president Tim Murray, the gathering of 120 architects and professionals will embark upon three tours, including “Theory & Practice at WPI,” featuring a history of the university, students’ participation in the design and construction meetings of recent buildings, and a focus on several IQPs and MQPs. The group will tour of the garage and rooftop complex, and will make a stop at Faraday Hall.

“I am really pleased that we have the opportunity to share our story and showcase the exciting growth we have seen at WPI,” says DiMauro.”

Other tours highlight Union Station, the Canal District, Hanover Theatre, the Sustainability Hub at Clark University, and the Main South Redevelopment District.

At the evening reception, nine students from WPI’s Architectural Engineering program will give an interactive presentation on the design, construction, and competition of the Solatrium, the modular net-zero home that competed recently in Datong, China.

One of the award recipients is the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, one of many locations for WPI community service work-study positions. It was the focus of a 2010 MQP on construction management advised by Professor Guillermo Salazar.