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Community Build Program

Community Build

Mission Statement

Established in 2009, The MassArt Community Build Program promotes projects for public and non-profit entities that solve practical problems encouraging human interaction in the built environment. Through education, advocacy, and research leading to design and construction, it provides opportunities for students and communities to work as partners on design-build projects.


A core goal of the MassArt Community Build Program is to embed curricular work within the architectural profession, using the studio as a laboratory that results in built projects.

Community Build, a key studio in the program, is a central required element of the M.Arch curriculum. During this summer studio, M.Arch students lead the design and construction of a project for a community partner. Over the course of the term, students bring architectural form from concept to reality while meeting the goals of the client group and exploring the expressive potential of building materials and structural systems. Mentoring and supervision is provided by industry professionals including architects and engineers. 

The program also includes interdisciplinary courses and projects which involve students and faculty from majors across the college in innovative art and design partnerships.

Call for Proposals

MassArt is currently requesting proposals from community organizations for future Community Build projects.

Learn more

PAST Projects

2022 - Cabot Park, Newton, MA

Faculty met with Newton’s Mayor Fuller in the summer of 2021 to discuss an opportunity to collaborate with MassArt’s Community Build Studio. Cabot Park was proposed by the City as an ideal location and a the Butterfly Pavilion was built to join the Parks, Recreation and Culture Program for everyone to enjoy for years to come.

Text over a faint background image that says "Community Build 2021"
2021 - MassARt Courtyard

The Community Build team was charged with addressing both practical and conceptual design improvements to the handicap ramp in the MassArt courtyard that included evaluating drainage problems and developing a design strategy that aligned with MassArt’s Strategic Plan. Boston, MA. Community Build 2021 Book

2020 -somerville community growing center

New flexible framework to support various community events, featuring seating with integrated storage and a pergola used for shade and to create a stage/classroom/work area. Somerville, MA. Photo by Maki Duan.

2019 - community greenhouse

Supported by the Urban Food Forest Coalition and the Farmer's Collaborative, this greenhouse is located on Geneva Avenue in Dorchester, and is paired on a small lot with fruit trees and summer vegetable gardens. Wood framed, the exterior is developed from panels of double-layered polycarbonate. Dorchester, MA.Video by Olivia Wiktor.

2018 - peabody essex museum, pavilion on biodiversity

Developed in partnership with the Museum’s Art and Nature Center to support the temporary exhibition Wild Designs. The project was inspired by an open lotus flower. Salem, MA. Photo by Julian Phillips.

2017 - putterham meadows pavilion

Public amenity for golfers and the general public. The project draws inspiration from the woods surrounding the golf course, and its shape is inspired by a Doyle spiral of interlocking hexagons which increase in size. Brookline, MA. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.

2015 - The Codman Academy Charter Public School

Outdoor learning space, Dorchester, MA

2014 - Cambridge Friends School

Seating and Shade Trellises at Entry and Courtyard and Improved Directionality, Cambridge, MA

2013 - Up Academy

Re-envisioned Entry: Educational Garden and Deck, Signage and Metal Relief Sculptures, Dorchester, MA • View Design Overview

2012 - Putterham Meadows Public Golf Course

Concession and Event Space, Brookline, MA • View Design Overview

2011 - Dennis C. Haley Pilot School

Outdoor Interactive Learning Center, Roslindale, MA • View Design Overview

2010 - Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary - Mass Audubon

Outdoor Classroom, Lincoln, MA • View Design Overview

2009 - Carter School

Weather Shelter for Bus Entrance, Boston, MA • View Design Overview


Community organizations interested in potential projects may contact Paul Hajian Professor and Head, Graduate Architecture Program, at