The Student Center provides a striking new entrance to the Columbia Point Campus. A magisterial propylaeum, it offers accommodation for a variety of university services, and is the first major building on the site since the original construction of the brick-clad university compound in the 1970s. The distinctive program and purpose of the Student Center represent a departure from precedent and the addition of contemporary form and materials to the architectural language of the campus.
Located at the southern edge of the complex, the plan arranges the special areas of student, faculty, and alumni dining, the University hall, a ballroom, and a conference center into a curved wing facing the bay. It heads an assemblage of parallel orthogonal tracks and light-wells, housing systemic and flexible areas of office and support spaces. The wings are joined to the angled, elongated concourse and staircase hall that runs along the western side of the building, connecting the main entry at the lower arrival level – as well as the sheltered bus stop, parking facilities, and bookstore – to the social spaces at the plaza level above.
The curved façade captures panoramic views of the J.F.K. Library and Dorchester Bay, articulating transparency and openness to the arrival forecourt. The exterior of the building uses limestone on the south and west façades, which face the major approaches to the building, and brick for the rest – an enduring link to the existing campus.
The Boston Globe, May 2004 Mass Media, April 2004 The Boston Herald, April 2004 University Reporter, April 2004