We are excited to announce that Northeastern University’s Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex (ISEC) and Beyond Walls, one of our pro bono projects, have been recognized with the prestigious AIA Regional and Urban Design Award.
Photo Credit: Ngoc X Doan Photography
Flow and Movement define the form language of this new academic precinct. Dynamic movement systems permeate the project, expand the campus and bridge two Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury and the Fenway. This cutting-edge academic precinct for science defines a vibrant new academic and social hub for students and allows Northeastern University to compete as a premier research institution acting as catalyst for the long neglected urban neighborhood of Roxbury along its southern border.
This South Campus Gateway contains the first academic buildings located south of a major rail corridor in the City of Boston, bridging two diverse neighborhoods with a new pedestrian bridge and landscape with a fully accessible path up and over the Amtrak and MBTA rail lines. A manmade slope in the ground plane creates both an accessible path to the pedestrian bridge and shields the site from the active rail lines. The landscape is defined by paths and clusters of spaces like “pebbles in a stream” that lead into the buildings with primary entrances at both the street and bridge level. A restored section of Boston’s Southwest Corridor Park is also integrated with the landscape, buffering the building from the street and serving as a pedestrian and bike route.
ISEC’s dynamic high performance envelope defines the public spaces and urban realm with a curving bronze anodized solar veil enveloping the office cluster, expressing the flow of the landscape while shading the offices from the harsh southwestern exposure, and the laboratory bar clad in a thermal overcoat of gray ribbed metal that lifts to reveal a glass volume of research space as it enters the atrium. EXP picks up on the expression of the lab bar with horizontal ribs bending open to shade the façade and reveal the research within to the community.
Photo Credit: Warren Jagger Photography
In 2017, as a pro-bono effort, we joined forces with Beyond Walls – a collection of engaged citizens rallied around the idea that art can be a potent force for public engagement and civic improvement to revitalize the City of Lynn, Massachusetts. These activists began a campaign focused on key urban interventions: dynamic underpass lighting, street-art murals, and vintage neon sign art. Three years later the Coronavirus Pandemic prompted new civic action, and in keeping with its mission to activate public spaces to strengthen communities, the group recognized the need for flexible outdoor spaces where people could safely gather, eat and enjoy all their community has to offer. Two new interventions were designed to address this immediate challenge, WaSH and FoLD. Combined, these five interventions create place and strengthen connection within this urban community.