Center for Life Science Boston

Project Overview
The Center for Life Science Boston CLSB is the first speculative, privately-owned, high-rise, multi-tenant laboratory building in the United States. Located on a tightly constrained urban site at the heart of Bostons Longwood Medical Area, the CLSB provides much-needed, flexible, cutting-edge research space to some of the worlds premiere academic and medical institutions, including Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Womens Hospital/Kowa Pharmaceuticals, Childrens Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Immune Disease Institute.

The project is one of the first buildings accepted to the U.S. Green Building Councils LEED Core and Shell Pilot Project. Despite the buildings resource-intensive program, an integrated sustainable design approach achieved LEED-Gold certification through efficient use of its urban site, stormwater capture and reuse, energy-efficient glazing and insulation, high-efficiency boilers, chillers and motors, and other targeted solutions.

Response to Urban Context
The new 20-story CLSB brings a signature presence to the Longwood Medical Area and subdivides an existing superblock. The design optimizes the unusual site configuration by varying floor size as the building rises. A series of external and internal pedestrian footpaths incorporated into the building will eventually complete a connection to nearby mass transit hubs and surrounding institutions. A two-story, multipurpose gallery on the ground level, combined with access to public amenities, creates opportunities for interaction among the buildings occupants and visitors from adjacent institutions.

Inspired by Discovery
The massing components were conceived as interlocking volumes and were inspired by the progressive, analytical nature of the research process. The curtainwall faade and dynamic form mitigate the buildings size and respond to the forms of neighboring buildings as well as a rare green space opposite the site. The curtainwall features varying degrees of transparency and is expressed through an interplay of tilting planes, curves, and cantilevered volumes aspiring upward and evoking the optimism and challenge of the research taking place within. Rhythmically composed details animate the exterior and lend a sense of openness to the site. During the day, light plays across the faade, subtly reflecting the sky and the green space. At night, the building becomes a luminous focal point to the Longwood Medical Area.


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