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Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) Building (Bldg. 46) (McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Picower Center for Learning and Memory, and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences)

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BCS
2007, Goody, Clancy and Associates and Charles Correa Associates, architects; Le Messurier Consultants, structural engineers. 43 Vassar St.

A more provocative contrast could hardly be imagined than the confrontation of the BCS Building opposite Frank Gehry's Ray and Maria Stata Center (MT5). Sharp, precise angles of the triangular site form a contrapuntal dialogue with the discordant notes of the latter. Architects were mindful of the location bordering on railroad tracks, which caused vibrations from freight trains, and so they raised the building's foundations accordingly. Adding to complexities of the site, the program had to accommodate three different research centers, as cited above.

At the core of the handsome seven-story limestone and glass structure, the central atrium rising from the third floor constitutes the logical meeting place. A cable truss supports the skylight, thus animating the ninety-foot-high sun-filled courtyard, forming the core of the building. Here, the interaction among different disciplines will conceivably enhance the work of the research labs and imaging facilities, while fostering a welcome collaborative spirit.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Keith N. Morgan
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Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 303-304.

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