Harvard SEC (Science & Engineering Complex) | Western Ave | Allston

DAVE

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this building looks like its afraid of catching coroanvirus
 

stick n move

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It makes very little visual impact for the amount of money Harvard probably spent on it. Unlike Northeastern with the ISEC, Harvard didn't get it's money's worth.
In a way yes, but then again I cant remember the last time I actually saw the ISEC in person, but this is visible from all over the place. It stands out too. Much of that is due to its size and location, but so be it, its seen and its definitely not an ugly building. The ISEC is more daring of a design, but its tucked away where unless your out in front of it its like it doesnt exist. Idk whats more worth it, wonderful and invisible or pretty good and on main st.
 

JeffDowntown

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I just can't imagine what this will look like after a serious, wind-driven snow storm!
 

Czervik.Construction

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All jokes aside about the ice and snow in that cladding stuff, I think there is a real hazard for falling ice onto the sidewalk as well as melting/dripping from the ice and snow that will then freeze overnight and turn into black ice. Could be quite dangerous.

 

Gameguy326

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I think these things can be hard to predict. Building 76 at MIT has been an ice falling hazard for forever, and now they've completely blocked off the picnic tables in winter because of it. But if you look at it, you'd never think it. Meanwhile some more geometrically intense buildings like the Media Lab are just fine.
 

BeeLine

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Bananarama

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I find this project incredibly underwhelming and dull. It feels like a one trick pony leaning heavily on the metal screen, which I personally think looks like an inhuman cheese grater. The fenestration is copy paste around the entire building behind it and I don't see any interesting effects being produced by the relationship. There's heavy comparison to the screen on the Novartis building @ Mass Ave and Albany in Cambridge, which I don't particularly like either, but is at least articulated beyond just wallpapering here.

And the massing is like any office park.
 

Javier

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The SEC features state-of-the-art classrooms, active learning labs, maker space, faculty labs, community space and a café. Green design makes it one of the most environmentally sustainable facilities of its kind.
 

Bananarama

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The SEC features state-of-the-art classrooms, active learning labs, maker space, faculty labs, community space and a café. Green design makes it one of the most environmentally sustainable facilities of its kind.
That's really nice programmatically. Not sure it makes it beautiful though imo
 

shmessy

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In a way yes, but then again I cant remember the last time I actually saw the ISEC in person, but this is visible from all over the place. It stands out too. Much of that is due to its size and location, but so be it, its seen and its definitely not an ugly building. The ISEC is more daring of a design, but its tucked away where unless your out in front of it its like it doesnt exist. Idk whats more worth it, wonderful and invisible or pretty good and on main st.
Northeastern's ISEC is a masterpiece and an exciting urban work on a dynamically developing major boulevard in Boston.

The Harvard SEC is an unimaginative building in a huge out of the way field with a lip-schtick gimmick screen cover (like the Education First building with it's waterfall glass to take people's eyes off of the 128 corpse building). I have walked over many times to view the construction. It's a stand alone in a field..

I can clearly remember my last walk through of the magnificent ISEC and how it interacts with Columbus Avenue, the new pedestrian bridge over the tracks near Ruggles, etc.- - I recommend everyone who wants to be invigorated by what today's architecture can achieve and how it can complement an urban fabric to visit it.

 
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Javier

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Harvard new SEC is way better then Northeastern SEC, when Harvard SEC opens up I will go inside and take pictures
 

kmp1284

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Interiors are irrelevant here as 99% of us will never walk in the front door but we’ll all have to see the exterior at some point or another and frankly this is one of those buildings I’d rather not have to see.
 

Javier

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Harvard new SEC is awesome building , is my opinion, alright.
 

shmessy

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Harvard new SEC is awesome building , is my opinion, alright.

Javier, opinions are great. I think it would be more helpful if you gave REASONS for it, instead of just a blanket statement. I would very much like to know and am hoping to learn how this is better than Northeastern's ISEC (other than it just being bigger and Harvard).

I have been to both to compare the exteriors and to the NU ISEC to see the interior many times. In the post above, I gave my reasons why I like Northeastern's far better. That being said, I have yet to see Harvard's interior. Every single one of the points you listed in Post #112 apply to Northeastern's ISEC as well. So, at this point, the only differentiators to me are the cityscape, interactions with their environments and spectacular interior (re: Harvard's, this last one is incomplete for me - but the first 2 are clearly in favor of NU).

And, btw, I very much enjoy and appreciate your pictorials, so am definitely looking forward to seeing them.
 
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BarbaricManchurian

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I think it’s a mindblowing work of art, and reminds me of just why I passionately love architecture, especially in these times. It has a good mix of forms and will be an undeniable landmark of lower Allston. I think the front is the weakest side but even there it has potential for stunning moments with the screen. It’s kinda like EF phase III, very divisive. Also maybe more of a suburban style building than urban with the large park but Harvard has very few successfully urban buildings unfortunately.
 

Ruairi

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I think it’s a mindblowing work of art, and reminds me of just why I passionately love architecture, especially in these times. It has a good mix of forms and will be an undeniable landmark of lower Allston. I think the front is the weakest side but even there it has potential for stunning moments with the screen. It’s kinda like EF phase III, very divisive. Also maybe more of a suburban style building than urban with the large park but Harvard has very few successfully urban buildings unfortunately.
Maybe I'm missing something as I can see your point with the EF phase 3 building. I'm not a huge fan but I can see why some might be, I can even see it growing on me.
This just looks like an office park building from the 80's that needed a new lease of life so it got wrapped in a metal screen. It seems like one of those things that might have to be removed because no one thought about the logistics of keeping it clean.
It seems like an institution with that much money should be doing better!
 

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