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The Center for Life Science in Boston, Massachusetts by Tsoi/Kobus & Associates
December 13th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Tsoi/Kobus & Associates
The Center for Life Science | Boston is the first of its kind in the country, a speculative, privately-owned, high-rise, multi-tenant laboratory building that offers flexible, cutting-edge research space to leading academic and medical institutions— Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital Boston, and the Immune Disease Institute—without the institutions’ having to spend their own capital dollars. The 22-story building is located in the Blackfan Research District of Boston’s renowned Longwood Medical Area, home to the highest concentration of life science researchers in the world.
Distinguished but not disruptive to the densely developed urban fabric, the building brings a signature presence to the Blackfan Research District, subdividing an existing super block while improving pedestrian and circulation amenities throughout. The generous setback of the building from Blackfan Street relieves the dense street wall while its bifurcated massing minimizes its visual impact. The footprint increases as the building rises. A series of external and internal pedestrian footpaths eventually will complete a connection to nearby mass transit hubs and neighboring institutions.
On the ground level, a two-story, multipurpose gallery, combined with access to public amenities and below-grade parking, creates opportunities for interaction among the building’s occupants and visitors from adjacent institutions.
The building’s glass curtainwall façade is expressed though a dynamic interplay of planes, curves, and notches that evoke the optimistic but challenging research taking place within. These rhythmically organized details animate the exterior and announce its various points of entry. During the day, the façade maintains a high degree of transparency while subtly reflecting the daylight and sky. At night, the building is illuminated dramatically, creating a luminous focal point to the Blackfan District.
The Center for Life Science | Boston is one of the first buildings accepted to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Core and Shell Pilot Project and has received Gold certification. At 289 feet, it is the tallest building in the Longwood area and one of the tallest research laboratory facilities in the United States. Though it can be seen from almost anywhere in Boston, the building conveys a human scale at the pedestrian level, thanks to the openness of its base and to paving that ties it to green space across the street. Far from the fortress-like image that characterizes many other research buildings of its scale, the Center for Life Science Boston achieves an overall effect of integration and connection between interior and exterior environments, public and private enterprise, and among education, research, and clinical care.
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Category: Medical Center