Click arrow to view more images, and click on the image to view a larger image.

Design Approach

Redstone Building Location

Animation of the new building being created.

Building animation video

The law school courtyard that was located at the south side of the Tower and bordered by the Pappas Law Library building to the east, the School of Theology to the south and the Mugar Library to the west, is now the location of the Sumner M. Redstone Building. The Preservation Plan indicated that any infill building in this courtyard would have less of an architectural impact than in other locations. This location provides the space for classrooms and entry lobbies, and refocuses the entry point into the building through a large glazed indoor atrium that will provide unobstructed views to the base of the south side of the tower. The new addition spans over the existing Central Boiler Plant without obscuring the northwest corner of the tower; thus the new building remains visually sympathetic to the strong vertical mass of the tower.

Design Response

The architecture of the Sert Complex has from the date of its completion been a defining visual characteristic of Boston University. Sert's notion begins with a heavy central mass, visually anchoring the complex next to the School of Theology and the Marsh Chapel. The verticality of the tower remains the signature structure of the Charles River campus. Interestingly, the Pappas and Mugar libraries are more deliberately horizontal in nature and in contrast to the tower, appear to float above the ground on a single story glazed window wall.

The design approach faithfully rehabilitates most of Sert's original tower while taking deliberate design measures within Sert's design vocabulary to make the existing buildings more acceptable to the 21st century needs of its inhabitants. The Redstone Building is located within the site plan, in accordance with the guidelines of the 2008 Preservation Study. The height of the new building, as well as the placement of its façade elements derive from an analysis, outlined in the Preservation Master Plan, of the unique qualities of Sert's design.