technology beyond a traditional facade
The design combines the campus historic context with technology intense programs and high performance building systems. Located in the heart of Boston College’s Collegiate Gothic Middle Campus, the building exterior responds to its context using materials such as Weymouth Granite ashlar stone and clay tile roofs, intricately detailed with precast quoins and wood framed entrances. The clear curtainwall corner placed near the main entry provides a glimpse to the highly transparent and technological interior. Transitioning from the historic shell, the interior is defined by a continuous ribbon of collaboration spaces and offices wrapping the entire perimeter, forming a collaboration commons around a high-tech core. Full height glazed walls and large windows allow for through-building transparency at a grand scale and blur the boundaries between spaces. Sustainability features like heat recovery chillers, sensible heat recovery coil and air quality monitoring system contribute to a highly efficient building.
Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Smart Flexibility
The five-story building consists of three levels of teaching and two levels of research, in addition to core laboratories and a cleanroom. General purpose classrooms are adjacent to engineering teaching labs, computer science labs and social hubs to maximize interactions. Makerspaces and an Entrepreneurship Center are placed strategically at prominent public locations to welcome all students and staff.
Core laboratories and computational research are dispersed throughout the research levels to maximize collaboration opportunities. Programmatic and building systems flexibilities are critical as most of the spaces are project based without determined users. To future-proof the building to adapt to many types of research, a generic approach to the lab spaces is balanced with higher design criteria at selected locations, including the ability to convert a teaching lab floor to research and accommodate for increased future chemical uses. Amenities like the café, 180-seat auditorium and a network of informal collaboration areas connected by an open stair will attract every discipline from campus to learn, ideate, experiment and collaborate.