Historic Hospital Campus Reimagined As Medfield Cultural Hub
DBVW Architects is working closely with the Town of Medfield and the Cultural Alliance of Medfield to adapt the former Medfield State Hospital’s Chapel and Infirmary into the Medfield Cultural Arts Center. The two historic structures are centrally located within a sprawling 134-acre campus that has been vacant since 2003 and was purchased for reuse by the town in 2014. Medfield’s cultural leaders envision the site, which is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to be a lively center for creative exploration and civic engagement.
“This multi-phased project will accomplish far more than simply saving the past,” says 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 state-of-the-art 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,” says 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.”