Berklee College of Music, Cafe 939

Boston, Massachusetts

  • FIRM

    Miller Dyer Spears


    Berklee College of Music

  • AREA

    13,500 sq.ft.





Cafe 939 is a new social center serving the diverse Berklee College of Music community. Befitting the college’s urban campus, the cafe features a coffee bar and performance venue designed to showcase emerging student talent, local artists and national acts. It has become a dynamic social hub, drawing the Berklee community and the general public. The performance hall ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMSelbert Perkins Design CollaborativeCOST PER SQ FT$237.00FEATURED IN2008 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYStudent Centers/Service Areas state-of-the-art sound, lighting, video mixing and recording capabilities. Three distinct seating areas with flexible furniture offer a capacity for 200.

The design of Cafe 939 reflects Berklee’s distinctly contemporary culture. Acoustic wall panels in the performance hall are shaped in graph patterns inspired by the Schillinger System, a system of visualizing music, and a primary method of teaching music when the college was founded. Design of the tabletops, rugs, cups and picture frames are inspired by resonant patterns discovered in the 1780s in an experiment involving sand, metal and a violin bow. Memorabilia from the college’s history line the walls in one enclave of the cafe.

Situated on the ground floor of the Tennis and Racquet Club Building, the cafe has a design that preserves the historic architectural detailing while introducing rich, saturated colors, modern furnishings and high-tech

systems in an eclectic blend of old and new.