October 16, 2018
by Canadian Architect
Toronto’s KPMB Architects and Boston University (BU) have announced new plans to build the BU Data Sciences Center, a 17-floor tower on Commonwealth Avenue in the heart of BU’s Charles River Campus. The new Data Sciences Center will be the first major teaching center built on the Charles River Campus in approximately a half-century, and will also become BU’s tallest building.
With data sciences booming from an educational and employment perspective, the construction of the new Center will provide a new space to educate the next generation of creators, inventors, critical thinkers and problem solvers.
The new Data Science Center will bring together the mathematics and statistics and computer science departments under one roof, as well as house the interdisciplinary Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computer and Computational Science & Engineering.
Highlights of the building’s features include:
- Book-Inspired Design: The structure of the building resembles a stack of books, an homage to BU’s mission of highlighting research, scholarship, artistic creation and professional practice among its students, faculty, alumni and visitors.
- Collaborative Spaces: The Center will include whiteboard walls for jotting down ideas; a series of terraced platforms for small-group interactions that run almost the entire length of the building; and a collaboration ramp dotted with small gathering spaces for quick, spontaneous conversation.
- Sustainable Technologies: Advancing BU’s Climate Action Plan and to account for the risks posed by increases in sea level and climate change, the Center will utilize energy-saving light fixtures, plumbing systems and heating/cooling mechanisms.
- Urban Connection: The Center will incorporate sheltered pedestrian pathways, enhanced green space and seamless connections to historic brownstones on Bay State Road and to Commonwealth Avenue.
Following an approval process with the City of Boston that could take up to a year, the project is provisionally expected to begin site preparation in spring 2019 with an estimated completion of spring 2022.