BU Celebrates New Center for Student Services


BU: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 or kjastive@bu.edu

Bruner/Cott: Dana Kelly, 617-492-8400 or dkelly@brunercott.com

(BOSTON) – Boston University and Bruner/Cott & Associates Architects and Planners, today held a dedication ceremony for BU’s new Center for Student Services. The building serves as an iconic campus gateway from the east for the University. The six stories house dining services and the relocated Center for Career Development and Educational Resource Center, which better connects services previously housed in separate locations.

“The new center includes good responsive spaces for students to gather as a community,” said Kenneth Elmore, BU Dean of Students. “It’s a great way to pull the campus together.”

Located at 100 Bay State Road, the first two floors of the $65 million, 120,000-plus-square-foot center are dedicated to dining and seat more than 1,000 people. Called Marciano Commons, the area is named for retired businessman Arthur Marciano and his late wife Ann who donated $3 million for the dining facilities. The four floors above these house the Educational Resource Center (ERC), the Center for Career Development (CCD), and several College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) writing and advising programs. The basement has a bakery and coffee shop, a late-night kitchen and function room, bike storage, and cyclist shower facilities.

Built on an important corner in Back Bay’s Kenmore Square, the building is Bruner/Cott’s second project for the university, the result of a 2009 invited design competition seeking to present a fresh face for this new core facility that supports a mission of learning outside the classroom. The design for the center had to address both the private, residential nature of the BU campus surroundings and the more public character of the square. Responding to both of these influences, the building’s aesthetics bridge the historic nineteenth-century brick townhouse neighborhood along Bay State Road to the north and the brash twenty-first-century Kenmore Square/Fenway Park district to the south. Its materials and exterior detailing were chosen to respect and complement its architectural and urban environs. Particular attention has been paid to the primary entry façade, where the size, color, and detail of both the masonry wall and the windows and bays maintain and extend the traditional edge of the neighborhood.

Constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, the center embraces sustainable strategies specific to dining and student service uses. They include: avoiding thermal by-passes in the building envelope to ensure technical excellence; preventing vapor migration that can result in mold; and controlling moisture penetration that results in envelope failures, especially for those constructed of ferrous materials. Each of these aspects was considered and evaluated separately, then integrated into a system that works well for all parts of the building.

“Bruner/Cott believes that implementing sustainable design practices from the start of design and construction through to the operations of a building is a must,” says Principal-in-Charge Leland Cott. “The keys to its long-term success are cost control during construction and operation as well as the evaluation of post-occupancy performance to maximize its potential. We have achieved this with this building in a well-considered design developed to address a diverse context.”

About Bruner/Cott & Associates

Bruner/Cott is a design and planning firm with a forty-year legacy of creating memorable spaces.  Highly regarded for successful comprehensive campus initiatives, the firm is widely known for its award-winning planning and design work on academic campuses with projects including new construction and the rehabilitations of historically significant buildings. Among their seminal academic projects are Memorial Hall at Harvard University; the Blackstone Offices, also at Harvard; Bartlett Commons at the University of Chicago; the Commons Center at Vanderbilt University; and the Sloan School of Management at MIT. For more information, visit www.brunercott.com.

About Boston University

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 16 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

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