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    Photography: Albert Vecerka

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Leers Weinzapfel expands engineering education with new Wentworth center

Jessica Evans
Tuesday 14 May 2019

Known for their transformative higher education design, Leers Weinzapfel Associates recently completed the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences - the growing Institute’s first new academic building in 45 years.

The four-storey center is a home for the next collegiate study of engineering with a dynamic environment for collaboration across multiple disciplines and amongst students of biology, civil biomedical engineering, and biological engineering.

Located at the heart of the Institute’s urban campus, a light metal veil drapes over the volumes to give the center a distinctive identity amongst the surrounding masonry buildings. The center plays a pivotal role in the campus plan and acts as a filter between the quad and the city, strengthening the pedestrian pike that links them. The building contains entries and offices along the pike. Floors two to four are made up of laboratories, student learning and group meeting spaces, offices, and storage space.

The ground floor is a transparent showcase that contains Accelerate - an interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial project-based program - and a high-end additive manufacturing lab. Adjacent public gathering areas contain stepped seating that invites students and visitors to experience displays of Wentworth’s engineering capabilities.

With a highly-efficient thermal envelope, including sun shading on multiple facades and mechanical equipment designed for maximum efficiency - such as low-flow fume hoods - the project exceeded the City of Boston’s requirements of sustainability. Due to the campus’ vulnerability to flooding, resilience measures were included. Leers Weinzapfel raised the ground floor two feet above current grade and minimized systems equipment in the basement.

“The Institute established a collaborative environment for the design to flourish.” - Josiah Stevenson, Principal-in-Charge, Leers Weinzapfel.

Leers Weinzapfel Associates are recognised for their inventiveness in dramatically complex commissions, and meeting challenges with uncommon design clarity, elegance, and refinement. To find out more, click here.

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