Harvard - Allston Campus

atlantaden

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All is can say is FUCK!!! Fucking stunning building, fucking amazing landscaping!! OK, one more time, I freakin love this, specifically the Engineering and Science building, though that mural is freakin beautiful! Sorry, couldn't help myself since, from the beginning, I had major doubts about how this was developing. These latest pics sure removed any doubts I had. Brad, thanks for the update of the Engineering and Applied Science Center, great pics.
 
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stellarfun

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The mural is on the former New England Deposit Library, built in 1941. acquired by Harvard in 2004. First IMP for Allston demolished this building, IIRC.

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Mural is apparently titled "Interconnected", and the artist is Sophy Tuttle, a New England artist.
 

BronsonShore

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I’m extremely skeptical that this will succeed as an urban building. The landscaping is pretty and the facade is different enough to be interesting, but ultimately this is an absolutely massive landscaper that will feel hostile. The building is far larger than anything on the main campus, and the green space dwarfs anything you’d find in Harvard Yard. Hell, it’s bigger than government center. Visually interesting but unwelcoming in person.
 

Brad Plaid

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I’m extremely skeptical that this will succeed as an urban building. The landscaping is pretty and the facade is different enough to be interesting, but ultimately this is an absolutely massive landscaper that will feel hostile. The building is far larger than anything on the main campus, and the green space dwarfs anything you’d find in Harvard Yard. Hell, it’s bigger than government center. Visually interesting but unwelcoming in person.
All fair points but it's also isolated in the sense that 3 sides of it face empty lots. When they're developed it will be a lot more cohesive though pretty much all of it will be superblocks.

Yes, there is a lot of open space. The grass on the main lawn is some of the thickest, most luxuriant I've ever come across. Go barefoot there if you get the chance. A few more pics.
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stefal

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All fair points but it's also isolated in the sense that 3 sides of it face empty lots. When they're developed it will be a lot more cohesive though pretty much all of it will be superblocks.

Yes, there is a lot of open space. The grass on the main lawn is some of the thickest, most luxuriant I've ever come across. Go barefoot there if you get the chance. A few more pics.
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The first photo is the closest to I was expecting based on the renders. I suppose I should see this in person, and not from the car passing by. This was a project I was excited to see how the facade turned out, and have been disappointed for the most part, but this photo's giving me hope it's not all bad...
 

Bananarama

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Still feels like an office park design. The cheese-grater facades don't help.

I'm sure the interior is pleasant and well appointed.
This space should be much brighter than the photos show it as and I think the materials and colors choices are unfortunate. The black/dark window mullions were a mistake imo.
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#bancars

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At the very least the new protected bike infra and secure bike parking looks fantastic.

Also excited to see a Fuel America coffee shop go in there. Their shop on Chestnut Hill Ave in Brighton (as well as their shop in downtown Worcester) is great, and definitely a hit with students, so this location makes a lot of sense.
 

shmessy

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Still feels like an office park design. The cheese-grater facades don't help.

I'm sure the interior is pleasant and well appointed.
This space should be much brighter than the photos show it as and I think the materials and colors choices are unfortunate. The black/dark window mullions were a mistake imo.
View attachment 14975

I agree. Let's compare that to Northeastern's ISEC atrium:



 
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BeeLine

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stellarfun

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“Harvard is performing as a development company, not as an educational institution,” said Anthony D’Isidoro, president of the Allston Civic Association. “They talked about Beacon Park being the next Seaport District. If it’s going to turn out like the Seaport, we don’t want any of that.”
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Neighbors found the offer encouraging, though it’s unlikely to assuage concerns that Harvard’s undeveloped portion of Allston is at risk of becoming another Seaport — or in city councilor Liz Breadon’s words, “a playground for folks who are mostly white people who have a lot of money.”

“There’s an expectation that Harvard can do more,” said Breadon, who recently sent the letter to Janey urging city officials to wait until after this fall’s mayoral election to approve the research campus project and a rezoning study for a nearby stretch of Western Ave., where Harvard also owns property.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09...hird-allston-now-it-needs-win-over-residents/
 

shmessy

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That atrium is KMart quality. And Van is right - - it is an office park. 1) Atrium 2) Lack of integration to surroundings - - it's painful when compared to what Northeastern accomplished.

All they did was paste over the exterior with an Education First-type- Glass Waterfall gimmick to put lipstick on a pig.

****I'm ROOTING FOR HARVARD in Allston - they can positively affect all of humanity there - but they are making it difficult for those of us who desperately want to to support them on this.
 
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Texasian

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It feels like they saw "jaunty cantilevered staircases that don't actually connect all of the floors in a sensible manner" in a picture of a Silicon Valley tech office and were like "Oh yeah, gimme some of those"
 

Bananarama

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That plan is absolutely bizarre. Look at the shapes of those rooms!!! Why are they all stepped instead of more pure volumes? I'm extremely curious to see the interior layouts of these. Do they have long built-in areas to fill between the shifts? A few of those corridors are equally awkward and jumbled.

The color palette and furniture design of the atrium is disappointing too. I see green, yellow, red (and maybe blue?) sort-of-but-not-really arranged by floor but also general zoning? It's too timid in how it's deployed in the space.

And still not feeling the black mullion caps on the interior face.
 

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