Harvard Enterprise Research Campus | 100 Western Avenue | Allston

Bananarama

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All those big name firms and they produce that...
Could have fooled me it was Elkus or some local developer. Massively disappointing.
 

Hydrobus

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I feel like the most most high profile, money backed projects usually end up coming out the worst. Harvard had an opportunity here to create an attractive, walkable, neighborhood and campus, like their original one. But its just turning into a big office park ornamented with random gimmicks. Also, yes cantilevers at this point have just become random gimmicks, and are no longer, in of themselves cool.
 

bdurden

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^I get what you are suggesting however I do love the evaluation of “weird” architecture along the Charles River.
 

Beantropolis

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I dont understand all the praise for this Treehouse. It looks like the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

I wish Harvard would lose this corporate campus oriented design mindset. It seems like they're intent on recreating the worst aspects of Kendall Sq in Allston. It's very disappointing.
 

stellarfun

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Do we know which firms designed which buildings?

Marlon Blackwell does nice clean buildings, but they strike me as doing best as free-standing structures set apart from their surrounds. Blackwell seems to be a fan of thin vertical striping, if that's a clue.
https://www.marlonblackwell.com/projects/

This overall Tishman Speyer development lacks a cohesive overlay, its as if a group of architects were individually asked to design specimen buildings reflecting their particular style. And T-S has simply kluged them together. I half-expect to see miniatures of these specimens lining a display shelf at the Graduate School of Design.
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Harvard is not the developer of this part of the Enterprise Campus'. Tishman-Speyer is.. Harvard holds the ground-lease.
https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2021/12/allston-development-pattern
 

Equilibria

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Do we know which firms designed which buildings?

Marlon Blackwell does nice clean buildings, but they strike me as doing best as free-standing structures set apart from their surrounds. Blackwell seems to be a fan of thin vertical striping, if that's a clue.
https://www.marlonblackwell.com/projects/

This overall Tishman Speyer development lacks a cohesive overlay, its as if a group of architects were individually asked to design specimen buildings reflecting their particular style. And T-S has simply kluged them together. I half-expect to see miniatures of these specimens lining a display shelf at the Graduate School of Design.
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Harvard is not the developer of this part of the Enterprise Campus'. Tishman-Speyer is.. Harvard holds the ground-lease.
https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2021/12/allston-development-pattern
It was Marlon Blackwell that did the hotel. Seems to be taller than most of their prior work. They seem like a solid designer of forgetably modern 1-4-story institutional buildings, but this is outside their swim lane.
 

ccole

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I know the comment period has technically closed, but in the past I reached out to the BPDA contact when projects were still going through iterations with the BCDC and they added my thoughts in. I think the treehouse conference center will be a unique and interesting, but the "1" hotel building just reads as so pompous given Harvard's role here and how often they like to tout being the best university. Especially with Allston being a lower-income area now being completely transformed by Harvard's developments, plopping a giant "1" down feels like lording over the community.
 

HenryAlan

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That treehouse thing looks pretty cool.
Every time I see that label in the renders, I think, hooray, more awesome beer coming to Boston. And then I remember that's not the reason for the name. :(

But the building does look cool.
 

DwnTwnr

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The treehouse looks squashed, like someone pushed down on it. It has so much potential to be interesting but then so top heavy
 

Charlie_mta

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Harvard just doesn't know how to get it right. MIT's developments in Cambridge are by and large really outstanding, but Harvard's.....meh.
 

shmessy

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Harvard just doesn't know how to get it right. MIT's developments in Cambridge are by and large really outstanding, but Harvard's.....meh.
It's, sadly, become an endemic problem at Harvard. Comparing their new SEC (Science and Engineering) Building in Allston to Northeastern's superb ISEC on Columbus Aveue is jarring. One can only wonder at what Harvard is doing with all that endowment money. I hope Harvard reaches out for some help soon, because they are screwing up a wonderful urban opportunity.
 

Charlie_mta

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Maybe part of the problem is that Allston is a blank slate, and sometimes when you have a blank slate it's hard to know what to do with it. On the other hand, MIT;s new buildings have a fine old architecturally rich and dense industrial area context to work off of, and Northeastern has it's fine old campus right nearby as a context to work off of (plus it's a much denser area than Allston, which helps). This particular part of Allston is out there, far from Harvard's historical area, doesn't really have much going on historically or architecturally, and I think they're just flailing around in that vacuum throwing out these cray and disjointed designs,
 

stellarfun

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Maybe part of the problem is that Allston is a blank slate, and sometimes when you have a blank slate it's hard to know what to do with it. On the other hand, MIT;s new buildings have a fine old architecturally rich and dense industrial area context to work off of, and Northeastern has it's fine old campus right nearby as a context to work off of (plus it's a much denser area than Allston, which helps). This particular part of Allston is out there, far from Harvard's historical area, doesn't really have much going on historically or architecturally, and I think they're just flailing around in that vacuum throwing out these cray and disjointed designs,
How much of this is Harvard's design, and how much is Tishman Speyer's design? If Harvard executes a ground lease, can it stipulate to the lessee (Tishman Speyer) that the only architect that can be hired is Robert Stern?

The development proposal announced today represents an agreement in principle between Tishman Speyer and the University on the terms of a lease for the land over time, and the kinds of likely designs and users for the buildings now envisioned—including the share of housing units that qualify as affordable, their desirability for faculty members or other affiliates of Harvard and nearby institutions (Boston University and MIT, for instance),
Tishman Speyer was chosen because the firm’s proposal “reflected a commitment to many of the goals set out by HALC in its initial request for proposals,” according to a University statement, including “a strong focus on bold and innovative architecture
 

shmessy

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Maybe part of the problem is that Allston is a blank slate, and sometimes when you have a blank slate it's hard to know what to do with it. On the other hand, MIT;s new buildings have a fine old architecturally rich and dense industrial area context to work off of, and Northeastern has it's fine old campus right nearby as a context to work off of (plus it's a much denser area than Allston, which helps). This particular part of Allston is out there, far from Harvard's historical area, doesn't really have much going on historically or architecturally, and I think they're just flailing around in that vacuum throwing out these cray and disjointed designs,
Very well said about the exterior of these buildings.

Yet how does one explain the difference in the comparative INTERIORS?

Harvard (6/30/2021 $53.25 billion endowment) SEC
1643825896780.png


Northeastern (6/30/2020 Endowment $1.09 billion) ISEC
1643826077214.png
 
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