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.
Notice of project change (4.6M PDF).