In a city not exactly known for bold architecture and buildings that stand out from the crowd, Boston is about to get a big one. Construction began in March on the Boston University Center for Computing & Data Sciences, at the corner of Granby Street and Commonwealth Avenue. At 19 stories and 305 feet tall, it won’t just be the tallest building on BU’s campus—it will be the most striking structure the University has ever built when it’s completed sometime in 2022.
It will also be BU’s most sustainable, energy-efficient building ever, 100 percent free of fossil fuels, thanks to geothermal wells, state-of-the-art shading, unusually thick windows, and other features.
Described by some as resembling a stack of books, the design includes a five-story base, or podium, topped by blocks of floors that alternate being slightly off-center from the one below. In addition to a unique look, the building—the first new major teaching center at BU in half a century—will be a testament to BU’s commitment to the exploding field of data science. It will bring under one roof the departments of mathematics & statistics and computer science.
“What field today is not reliant on data?” says Azer Bestavros, who was named to fill the new position of associate provost for computing and data sciences. “Students across every major want to take these courses. It’s becoming the bread and butter for every student’s education. Data science is now a unifier across disciplines.”