On June 20, 2008, Boston College submitted its Institutional Master Plan (IMP) to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) describing plans to develop the Boston College campus over the next ten years. A copy of the IMP is also available at the O’Neill Library at BC and at the local branch libraries in Allston and Brighton.
The IMP is the next step in the City of Boston’s Article 80 Development Review process. For additional information about this process, see A Citizen’s Guide to Development Review Under Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code. The Citizen’s Guide provides general background information on the IMP and Large Project review processes that Boston College will be subject to for future Boston campus projects described in the IMP.
Boston College looks forward to continuing to work with Mayor Menino, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Allston Brighton Boston College Community Task Force, our elected officials and residents on the review of the IMP during the 60-day public comment period. If you have any questions or comments regarding the filing, please contact our office.
Following the completion of Boston College’s strategic plan, a long-term campus vision plan (30-50 years) was developed by Sasaki Associates in conjunction with University administration, faculty, staff, and students. Throughout this process, Boston College consulted and worked collaboratively with officials from the surrounding municipalities of Boston and Newton, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Newton Planning Department, as well as appropriate state agencies.
Additionally, the University presented and solicited input on the campus vision plan from our host communities through discussions and a design charette with the Allston-Brighton Boston College Community Task Force, the Newton-Boston College Neighborhood Council and various community groups.
Boston College looks forward to continuing a dialogue with all these groups, organizations, agencies and individuals as we move toward the approval and implementation of the Institutional Master Plan.
Analysis of the existing Boston College campus revealed three guiding foundations:
The power and beauty of the Middle Campus will stand as an iconic guide to development.
A pedestrian environment will pervade the plant from the Upper Campus to the Brighton Campus.
Areas for development will be identified with respect for existing open spaces and neighboring uses.
Through a year-long process involving both the campus and neighboring communities, several principles were developed to guide the master plan:
Create a unified and contiguous residential and academic core campus.
Develop cohesive residential villages by class.
Reinforce our mission by bringing together academic, social, and spiritual pursuits.
Strengthen movement systems on campus by creating a better pedestrian environment and creating clear peripheral vehicular circulation and parking.
Extend the landscape quality of defined open spaces found on the historic Middle Campus, and expand this through a system of “linked quadrangles” to the new Brighton Campus.
Respect the surrounding character of the neighborhoods by directing density closest to the core campus.
Locate academic uses on the campus proximately to enable faculty collaboration.
Strengthen environmental stewardship and enhance the University’s leadership in sustainability through a decision-making process that is guided by consideration for ecological consequences.
The long-term vision plan concentrates improvements to the campus in ways that strengthen the identity and vitality of the campus, respect the neighboring community, and incorporate to the new property acquisitions into the campus. Building upon the historic legacy of the campus, sacred spaces are preserved, existing resources are upgraded, outdated facilities are removed, and new buildings are built in support of the mission and strategic plan. A series of linked quadrangles are the major organizing feature of the master plan, emulating the successful historic open-space progression through Middle Campus.
The Lower Campus will become the new center of the expanded campus. The juncture of academics, housing, and student life will activate the new Lower Campus Quadrangle. The University Center and Recreation Center will work together to further energize the Lower Campus Quadrangle. New undergraduate housing is planned on the northern side of Shea Field with views toward the reservoir, and on the former More Hall site with views toward the east.
The academic focus of the Middle Campus will be strengthened by infill buildings surrounding the Campus Green. These buildings will allow for the creation of a Humanities Center and provide new dining options on campus.
In the long–term plan, the undergraduate residential village on Upper Campus is enhanced with the addition of new buildings along Quincy Road and a building located at the corner of Beacon and Hammond Streets. Additional housing, that will replace existing small individual structures along College Road, could accommodate graduate, junior faculty, and Jesuit housing needs.
Together, the two sides of Commonwealth Avenue will establish a unique gateway between the City of Boston and Boston College. The new residences and ground floor retail on the south side will connect the Chestnut Hill and Brighton Campuses, while a fine arts complex with offices, a museum and auditorium will occupy the north side.
An athletics and recreation district will be created on the northern portion of the Brighton Campus for baseball, softball, multipurpose fields, a tennis center, and a parking garage. In the short-term plan, new undergraduate residence halls are planned along the spine road internal to the site and town-house style units for Jesuit and graduate students attending the Weston School of Theology will be built on Foster Street. In the long-term plan, a graduate village in the central portion of the Brighton Campus will be designed around a large quadrangle.
Renovations and new construction will provide updated academic space for the Law School complex. A new athletic support building with restroom facilities will be built to replace the Quonset Hut. In the long term, existing housing may be replaced with new graduate and junior faculty housing.
Open Space and Landscape Framework
Quadrangles are the primary iconic spaces on the Gothic collegiate campus. They serve as the forum for everyday campus life. These open spaces remain flexible for formal and informal gatherings. The primary quadrangles on campus comprise approximately nine acres today and are proposed to double in the long-term plan.
Courtyards are small, intimate spaces that offer opportunity for quiet and contemplation. Proposed courtyard spaces campus-wide will occupy approximately 19 acres.
Seven major building programs are the prime drivers of the campus master plan:
Integrated Sciences Center
School of Theology and Ministry
The design guidelines are inspired by the University’s mission and articulate the principles of the master plan at a detail level. The objective of the guidelines is to achieve a single, integrated campus design in which the parts relate to one another, regardless of when they are built. Architectural guidelines provide a framework for the consistent and cohesive design for renovated and new buildings. Landscape guidelines outline the ways to achieve consistent character and identity by further defining campuses and through landscape materials. Sustainability guidelines have been created in conjunction with the master plan to provide direction and definition for planning and building design. These guidelines help foster environmental responsibility and optimum resource management.
The implementation framework provides Boston College with a flexible guide for executing the long-term vision plan in a series of incremental improvements that will transform the campus. Phasing of projects must be responsive to priorities, funding opportunities, and other logistical and operational considerations.
The first phase of the plan to be implemented over ten years focuses on the following priorities:
Academic buildings to support the humanities, fine arts, sciences, and a new School of Theology and Ministry.
2. Two new co-curricular buildings: A Recreation Center and a University Center.
A playfields’ district fulfilling demands for much needed athletic and recreation space.
New undergraduate housing located on both the Lower Campus and Brighton Campus to increase capacity, to replace outdated housing, and to enable other building initiatives.
Jesuit and graduate housing on Foster Street to accommodate the residential needs of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology.