BU Data Sciences Center | 665 Commonwealth Avenue | BU Central

Ruairi

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I think this is one of the first Boston buildings I've ever looked at and actually hated.

The massing is cool: bold, disruptive, and distinctive. Good urbanism is a combo of old, new, big, and small--this accomplishes that.
The use is awesome: converting a transit-adjacent parking lot into a state-of-the-art academic and research facility rocks.
Even the materials I like: the quality of glass and brise soleil materials used here is undeniable.

The chaos of this facade is what irritates me. To say it has too much going on is an understatement. The facade scheme(s) look like a metaphor for the 20-student BU City Planning Symposium I participated on 8 years ago: everyone made their A+ contribution to a draft report we were writing for a client, but the draft product had absolutely 0% cohesion from one section to the next. In that instance, a few of us at least had an 11th hour opportunity to knit the sections together into a slam dunk report that made our classmates, professors, and client proud... in this instance, the final product is still a f*cking mess.

I've gone by this thing near and far from a bike, on foot, and in a car. The solar glare/reflection off the building onto Commonwealth Avenue in the Spring (and most likely Fall) is shocking, particularly because it highlights one of the failures of the brise soleil in the first place! The fact that facade patterns not only differ from different levels but also from different sides of the same floors really irritates me. Complexity and contradiction may work on a personal, human level... to employ those principles on a facade scheme in this way is agonizing. A trio of of buildings employing 1-2 of these facade treatments each would've worked sooooo much better here.

This looks like a patchwork of really nice things, but ones that ultimately fail to coordinate together. It's like someone takes a Rolex Watch, a Ferrari, the Crown Jewels, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the entirety of Boston's Seaport; welds it all together; and says, "Tah Dah!" It an insult to the building's interdisciplinary functions, the BU community, and Greater Boston.

I really hate this building. The Kenmore Flatiron cannot come soon enough.
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shmessy

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Thanks for the shot, Cole, great layering.

I'd take 10,000 bow-front townhouses over 1 ugly stack of corrugated boxes.
I said it years ago here and I’ll say it again now.

This building would look great in Allston along the Pike. Not on Comm Ave at BU. It’s all about context and being respectful to your neighbors.
 

kz1000ps

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The chaos of this facade is what irritates me. To say it has too much going on is an understatement....

I've gone by this thing near and far from a bike, on foot, and in a car. The solar glare/reflection off the building onto Commonwealth Avenue in the Spring (and most likely Fall) is shocking, particularly because it highlights one of the failures of the brise soleil in the first place! The fact that facade patterns not only differ from different levels but also from different sides of the same floors really irritates me.
I don't hate it like you do, but I'll echo your comments about the facade. The thing that irritates me most is that a brise soleil is applied with the specific purpose of regulating sun exposure, and yet here it's angled in every damn direction on every damn facade. CLEARLY that brise soleil has stopped functioning as one and is a purely decorative concern, in which case I'm looking at it wondering why the hell they thought this facade needed 30 different patterns. The massing is more than interesting enough on its own that it doesn't need the tarting up of 40 rando lines going every which way.

 

A Chicagoan

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There's a building under construction in Tirana, Albania that resembles this:
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Charlie_mta

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I like the plaza ^. That's what City Hall Plaza should have looked like.
 

TomOfBoston

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bdurden

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This is one of those buildings that took some time to imagine how it would fit into the cityscape — from the BU campus to the Charles River. Now that it’s nearly finished and enough time has passed, I just cannot picture Boston without it (in a good way).
It rewards the curious onlooker from the Cambridge side of the Charles, much in the same vein as many other buildings along the Charles before it that don’t conform to typical contextualism that is all too often dull.

At street level, it’s exhilarating. Having walked the perimeter yesterday, it’s clear that the well designed and urbane park at Granby, the outdoor alleyway space for lurkers, and the entrances on Comm Ave will be a very successful place for gathering. All a natural extension of the surrounding spaces.
 

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