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Harvard on the move again: Resurrects plans for large science and engineering complex in Allston

Proposed Harvard science and engineering center.

Architect's rendering. See it larger.

Harvard this week submitted new plans to the BRA for a science and engineering edifice along Western Avenue it says will become the hub of a new campus aimed at promoting "the translation of research ideas into successful products and services" and a powerful way to attract even more researchers and companies to the area.

The university says its new 497,000-square foot proposal is a bit smaller than the original structure planned for the vast tract of land Harvard laid waste to before the recession hit hard enough in 2008 to make even a university with an endowment the size of Harvard's take stock in its future. It will also require less parking, Harvard says.

In its new filing, Harvard says:

Designed by the firm of Behnisch Architekten and located along Western Avenue, the SEC will comprise approximately 496,850 square feet, including the renovation and re-use of the existing 114 Western Avenue building and will be surrounded by approximately 70,000 square feet of green space. The project will house faculty, scientists, researchers, students, and staff from SEAS - including undergraduate concentrators and graduate students who are studying applied mathematics, applied physics, computational science and engineering, bioengineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental science and engineering, material science, and mechanical engineering.

The SEC has been designed to strengthen and complement the area's public realm by raising most of the secure laboratory space above a two-story glassy "pedestal" space that will infuse Western Avenue with transparency and activity. Within this glassy space will be an atrium extending the full height of the building and including two levels below grade, a first floor dining facility with extensive open seating available to building occupants and the public, retail space, and visible activity spaces to be used for classes and engineering student projects. The ground floor space will have multiple entrances generally open to the public during business hours and generous circulation space connecting the north and south sides of the building. On the south side of the building, the existing concrete foundation platform will be transformed into a large landscaped open space, accessible to all.

Central atrium:

central atrium of Harvard building

Notice of project change (4.6M PDF).

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Comments

an architectural term as good as any.

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Perhaps meant to rival MIT's "Space Waffle" dormitory on Vassar St.?

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It is amazing what an ugly stretch that has been for several years, despite the supposedly prime location.

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I run into lots of people who think no one will sit on prime locations. Sad truth is that Harvard's time line for its parcels in Allston is 100 years; and they have the billions to sit and leave stuff barren as long as they like.

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I, for one, welcome our new borg cube overlord.

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It's the whole collective! We are Locutus of Harvard. Resistance is futile.

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Any decent Harvard grad would know that it should be the noun locutor rather than the perfect participle, and phrased locutor harvardianus, as classical Latin prefers the adjectival to the genitive construction.

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here is to hoping the rest of lower allston gets redeveloped. and that BU and BC can draw their students back on campus, so the rest of Allston can be turned into housing for young families and young professionals. *end pipe dream*

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Sacrifice lower Allston to the gods of Harvard? Some of us still live there, you know. :*(

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There are plenty of young people in Lower Allston, but not very many students (especially not from BC which is a hike from LA.) It's a pretty good mix of blue collar families and recent grads. Once they straighten the Pike and Harvard gets their Allston stuff built, LA is going to be a VERY desirable address.

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... which sits behind where this will be, I'm really looking forward to the sun glaring off of this thing into the fielder's eyes. Should raise my average by 50 points.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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And here I though they were just building a secret underground lair along western avenue.

Any idea what the plans are for the North side of that road?

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when they take the scaffolding off?

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