The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) expands the university’s urban campus to the south of a major rail corridor and reconnects the diverse neighborhoods of Fenway and Roxbury with a public landscape and pedestrian bridge. Constructed on an urban brownfield site consisting of an existing surface parking lot set between two garages, the ISEC represents the completion of the first phase of the newly planned 660,000-sq-ft academic precinct. The ISEC provides a home for four interdisciplinary academic research disciplines: engineering, health sciences, basic sciences, and computer science.
The site was selected to invest in the Roxbury neighborhood and enables an additional 440,000 sq ft of research, academic, and student housing development on site. The landscape creates a new open space amenity on Columbus Avenue that reaches up and over the MBTA rail tracks, connecting to the main campus precinct and, for the first time, makes a powerful connection for the Roxbury neighbors.
A collaboration between the architect, engineers, client, and builder, the ISEC used an integrated and iterative approach utilizing performance modeling in order to leverage the value of design and engineering decisions. Early energy modeling targeted the solar heat gain as the primary driver and informed the design direction of the project. Aggressive targets and an integrated approach to sustainability was ingrained from the planning stages throughout the design process, impacting everything from the programmatic organization of the building to the design of the building enclosure.