Berklee College of Music
150 Massachusetts Avenue Renovation

Boston, MA

The historic 138–150 Massachusetts Avenue complex is one of the core academic and student life buildings at Berklee College of Music, located at the crossroads of its Boston campus. Over the past 18 years, MDS has completed multiple renovations to the 1904 former hotel, upgrading academic and student life spaces, and creating and later expanding the Stan Getz Library and Media Center.

Our most recent renovation involved the removal of the single story, ground level addition along Massachusetts Avenue and Belvidere Street and interior renovations on levels B, A and 1 that improved academic and student life spaces. The project also addressed significant infrastructure deficiencies, created new accessible entries, added a new elevator, and also integrated seismic upgrades. Construction was phased to enable continuous occupancy. 

 View from Massachusetts Avenue

View from Massachusetts Avenue

 Conditions prior to our renovation

Conditions prior to our renovation

What was previously an inaccessible and unwelcoming entrance to an academic and campus life building is now a transparent and animated storefront that reveals Berklee music and culture and fosters greater community engagement. The facade improvements were designed to more closely approximate the appearance of the building when it was the Sherry Biltmore Hotel. This work also created a wider, landscaped sidewalk that enhanced site accessibility and also improved views to the restored St. Cecilia Church on Belvidere Street.

Interior improvements created practice rooms, classrooms, student lounges, academic offices and support spaces that accommodate revised facility needs in response to the programs that moved to the adjacent residence hall that opened in 2014. Student practice rooms are strategically located directly on Massachusetts Avenue, offering passersby views to Berklee students in action. Phase one accessibility improvements opened in 2014. Phase two opened in October 2016.

View from Massachusetts Avenue

 New entrance

New entrance

 Model diagram showing the complex's different levels and the elevator that was added in Phase 1 of our renovation.

Model diagram showing the complex's different levels and the elevator that was added in Phase 1 of our renovation.

 Accessible ramps now connect Levels 1, A and B.

Accessible ramps now connect Levels 1, A and B.


What was previously an inaccessible and unwelcoming entrance to an academic and campus life building is now a transparent and animated storefront that reveals Berklee music and culture.


 Student Lounge and Elevator Lobby

Student Lounge and Elevator Lobby

 Multipurpose Rehearsal Room

Multipurpose Rehearsal Room


Reserved by students nearly 24/7, the Multipurpose Rehearsal Room is a counterpart to the Berklee Performance Center, matching its stage depth and acoustic quality.


 Turntable Lab

Turntable Lab

 Student Meeting Areas

Student Meeting Areas

 Electronic Production and Design Sound Suite

Electronic Production and Design Sound Suite

 Electronic Production and Design Seminar Room

Electronic Production and Design Seminar Room

Photos by Chuck Choi

Other Projects: