The new Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) is the largest addition to Harvard University’s Boston campus in a generation, reports ArchDaily. Completed just recently, the construction is the largest to gain certification under the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.
“This certification brings attention to the fact that only 10 to 15 percent of 80,000 chemicals in industrial use today have any health data; only 9 percent are regulated at a federal level,” Harvard chief sustainability officer Heather Henriksen says, indicating that for SEC, the team purchased 1,700 products that match both Harvard and the institute’s criteria.
The first major academic building on the Allston neighborhood campus within the city. Once opened, it will house the school of engineering and applied sciences.
German firm Behnisch Architekten designed the building to have three floating boxes along the Western façade. On the East, the building steps down into the surrounding residential neighborhood. The entire building encased in a stainless steel skrim, each façade appears to have a different pattern. “From a distance, it looks like fabric,” founding partner Stefan Behnisch says. “It’s the signature of the building.” Individual louvers, meanwhile, feature a curved silhouette, evoking the look of a sport car.
Inside, the lower levels are reserved for public roaming, while the labs for research and studies are housed upstairs. Outside air circulates though the central atrium, which features exposed industrial features over concrete floors. To contras the white and gray interiors, ivy hangs from a planter, referencing Harvard itself.