Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (IDEC)

Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (IDEC)

Payette, 2017

Harleston Parker Medal, 2018

Marking Northeastern’s rising fortunes as a research university, this 234,000 sf Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building (ISEC) is the first phase of an ambitious plan to develop 600,000 sf of new academic and research space.

The curved façade is a tour de force in building science, and an embodiment of the cross-disciplinary approach this facility seeks to enable. After exploring and rejecting a double-skin facade, the architects’ dedicated Building Science team concluded that a high performance sun shading system would deliver a better result. Working with the project team, their solution integrated full lifecycle energy modeling, value engineering, and digital design tools for the custom aluminum fins to deliver on the biomorphic design vision while optimizing energy performance and comfort for its users.

The Arc, a dramatic curved bridge, will link NU’s original Huntington Avenue campus with this Columbus Avenue site, spanning existing rail lines to extend the campus into the north end of Roxbury. The organic form of the bridge is carried over to ISEC’s design, reflecting a shift in culture from rigid departmental silos to fluid interdisciplinary collaboration. The open central atrium and shared amenities create a space where faculty and students from engineering, health sciences, basic sciences, and computer science can engage with both intent and serendipity on projects including drug discovery, robotics, and security research.

Sources: Architects Newspaper July 15, 2016; Payette