Medfield, MA DBVW Architects is working with the town and the cultural alliance to adapt the former State Hospital’s Chapel and Infirmary into the Medfield Cultural Arts Center. The two historic structures are centrally located within a 134-acre campus that has been vacant since 2003 and was purchased for re-use by the town in 2014. The site is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“This multi-phased project will accomplish far more than simply saving the past,” said Jean Mineo, president of the Cultural Alliance of Medfield. “It will create completely new dynamic experiences for residents and visitors to make and enjoy art, discuss the issues of our time, generate ideas, and engage with each other and the land.”
Renovations to the Lee Chapel and infirmary are the first phase of this expansive project. The chapel will feature a performance hall with flexible seating for musical and literary performances, film screenings, community meetings, and special events. A catering kitchen will support these activities. Joined to the chapel by a new entrance, the Infirmary will feature various studio spaces for group study, individual lessons, flexible learning, and musical and multi-media exploration and rehearsals.
Work completed to date includes creating existing conditions drawings, completing a building conditions survey and report, programming, conceptual design and renderings, and preparation of Part 2 historic tax credit submission (with MacRostie Historic Advisors). Schematic design is currently underway and the project is expected to continue through construction.
Future phases of work to adjacent buildings on the campus will introduce dance studios, fabrication studios, affordable artist live/work space, and a culinary incubator for emerging food and agriculture businesses.
“Medfield has always nurtured rising creative talent, but a cultural center like the one proposed could be a true game-changer,” said Matthew Aucoin, a composer and artist in residence at the Los Angeles Opera who graduated from Medfield High School in 2008. “A meeting place for artists and lovers of the arts could be transformative for the cultural scene in suburban Boston.”