Boston University’s new Center for Student Services is now complete! Times sure have changed from when college cafeterias were full of John Belushi-type characters starting food fights, and when student unions were run-down buildings where students staged political protests. BU's sparkling new student center, designed by Bruner/Cott & Associates, will be a prominent gateway building for the BU campus at Kenmore Square.
BU’s Center for Student Services is a 120,000-square-foot facility and will be a hub of student activity including dining, studying, and seeking counseling. Two floors, almost 46,000-square-feet, are dedicated to the Marciano Commons, the state-of-the-art, full-service cafeterias and cafes that will help create a colorful atmosphere of restaurant dining for BU students. There is even a late-night dining hall! The top four floors will house the Educational Resources Center (ERC), the Center for Career Development (CCD), and several programs associated to the College of Arts & Sciences.
This $46-million facility was built with an eye on sustainability. The building is said to be 20% more energy-efficient than most new-construction, and features a green roof, a sustainable cooling system of chilled beams, and creative trash and composting services. The Center for Student Services is pursuing LEED Gold certification.
The building itself blurs the line between the historic, brick townhouses in the Back Bay community and the modern buildings around Fenway Park and Kenmore Square. The building is respectful by utilizing traditional masonry material and continuing the rhythm and geometry of the familiar neighborhood façade. But a glass tower extends beyond the façade to reveal the modern flare of this new building, where new materiality is layered in volumes behind the masonry. Therefore, this architectural intermediary creates a new vocabulary in this storied neighborhood as a way to speak to the ever innovative academics of Boston University.
Images ©Richard Mandelkorn