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Northeastern University – 177 Huntington Avenue

Historic architecture meets progressive design

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston’s Back Bay, home to the best-preserved examples of 19th century urban design in the United States and architect I.M. Pei & Partner’s landmark tower, 177 Huntington Avenue. To build administrative and academic offices for Northeastern University here, our design team had to balance Northeastern’s commitment to learning with the character of the existing structure. They let the unique building and its incredible views speak for themselves to highlight Northeastern’s energy and spirit of collaboration.

The idea of the cloud, in both its natural form and its digital interpretations, drove the conceptual design for the space. Inspired by gradients of color, modularity, and density of texture present in nature, a soft neutral color palette was used as a base and is complemented by levels of high contrast and saturated color.

The university’s initiative to reduce their carbon footprint by 80% before 2050 is supported by all facets of Northeastern’s mission, research, education, and operations. The design team worked with the university to develop strategies that create an environment that maximizes daylighting, views, and comfort. Students and faculty now have a space designed for the best of both worlds, balancing historic and modern design.

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