Merrill Science Center, Amherst College, Amherst, MA


The Merrill Science Center of 1966-68 is sits on a sloping hillside near the main quadrangle of the Amherst College campus. It was designed by Campbell, Aldrich and Nulty, the prolific firm out of Boston. Many readers will remember them best as co-architects of the still controversial Boston City Hall. Like that building, Merrill is seen by many as being severe with a front of angled edges and few windows. There is a large sunken brick courtyard in front of the entrance.

IMG_7315Walking into the main entrance, one can immediately exit the building down a short hallway and end up on Merrill Beach, a large outdoor area that incorporates the roof of the lower levels of the building built into the hillside. The view of this side shows more visible windows as well as two light wells with seating areas and landscaping that exist by the bridge connecting the main entrance area to the beach.

IMG_7314What might be the best feature of Merrill is the panoramic views from the rear of the building and the beach out to the nearby mountains and closer on, the Amherst athletic fields. The science department is leaving Merrill soon and the building is being considered for other uses.


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1 Response to Merrill Science Center, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

  1. Andrew says:

    There’s also a neat light-well feature in the lower floors, with enclosed catwalks traveling through it!

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