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Science Center

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1970–1972, Sert, Jackson Associates. 1 Oxford St.
  • Science Center (Keith Morgan)
  • (Damie Stillman)
  • (Damie Stillman)

The construction of the undergraduate Science Center highlighted a dramatic planning effort that linked Harvard Yard to Memorial Hall (NY1) and the north campus, achieved by building the Cambridge Street underpass (1966–1968) and the pedestrian mall over the bridge. Despite its large scale, the complex is not overbearing. Josep Lluís Sert used textured precast-concrete panels in a framework of concrete posts and lintels. A glass-covered arcade penetrates the mass of the building, paralleling the five-story laboratory tower to its north. South of the arcade, at the center of the complex, terraced classrooms for the mathematics department step down to the library and four demonstration theaters covered by a spiderlike steel framework. A glass-enclosed café draws people in, reflecting Sert's ongoing interest in shaping spaces for public gathering.

Writing Credits

Maureen Meister


What's Nearby


Maureen Meister, "Science Center", [Cambridge, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

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, 324-324.

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