Comprehensive Facilities Plan
Boston University School of Education | Boston, Massachusetts
The School of Education (SED) is housed within a complex of eight contiguous downtown buildings on the campus of Boston University. Built individually, the structures have undergone numerous additions, expansions, and remodels. VMA was commissioned to design a comprehensive facilities plan that would allow the SED to make better use of their space, as the options for expansion were greatly limited, and to create a strong public face for the SED that would improve the school’s visibility and accessibility in the context of a much larger urban campus.
Leaving the structure of the corner building intact, the proposed solution transforms the space within into a large and gracious atrium; the spacious interior space with direct pedestrian access from busy Commonwealth Avenue reinforces a sense of collegiality, provides a clear sense of orientation and helps get students in and out of classes quickly by encouraging the use of the monumental centrally located stair. The on-grade entry with sightlines into the bustling atrium provides a dialogue between the city streetscape and the SED, settling the facility within the urban context. Organizationally, we focused largely on clarifying circulation, increasing the size, quality and number of instructional spaces, and rationalizing the locations and adjacencies of offices and support spaces. Careful and strategic planning to phase and sequence the work in manageable financial increments makes this plan feasible, despite a lack of available swing space or University down time.
Size: 108,000 sf