Exterior of the Studio Gang-designed David Rubenstein Treehouse conference center, a gateway to the new Enterprise Research Campus. Rendering: Aesthetica Studios, copyright Studio Gang.
A master plan project at Harvard University from Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, SCAPE, and Utile has begun construction in the Boston neighborhood of Allston.
The 36-acre Enterprise Research Campus (or ERC) will coalesce an area across the Charles River from the Ivy League campus into a new multi-use innovation district with designs from MVRDV, Moody Nolan, and Marlon Blackwell, in addition to the university’s first above-ground mass timber structures from Studio Gang.
Once complete, its initial two phases will entail 14 acres of redeveloped land reserved for offices, labs, conference center, hotel, residential component, and open green space.
The effort was inaugurated in 2018 in the interest of creating a “gateway to a collaborative community,” which is Boston’s well-known consortium of knowledge industries.
Studio Gang founding principal and partner, Jeanne Gang, said her team’s plan has “provided a framework for a vibrant and inclusive public realm that brings Harvard University and the surrounding community together while setting up to new linkages to the Charles River and its wider region.”
The new mass timber David Rubenstein Treehouse conference space will serve as a gateway to Phase A, joined by two other timber lab buildings from the studio and Henning Larsen. MVRDV’s just-announced 343-unit apartment building and another 246-room hotel from Marlon Blackwell complete the first phase, surrounded by SCAPE’s greenway design.
Speaking of the Treehouse design, Gang shared: “Conference facilities are typically closed off from their surroundings. We’ve designed the Treehouse to be totally different — it strongly connects with the outdoors and the public, enabling interaction while energizing the important work happening inside. The architecture aims to draw people together, creating multiple places to convene and to share the unique spatial experience of being ‘up in the canopy.'”
Construction is expected to be completed by early 2026. The project was able to kick off following a $750 million investment that was announced this June.