Boston University Art Museum

Studio VI: 3rd-Year Undergraduate, Spring 2016 (Externally-Collaborative, Project-Based, Interdisciplinary Curricula)

Project Type: Museum 

Location: Brookline, Massachusetts

Professor: Thomas M. Lesko, Architect

Team Members: Qiang Wang (M.Arch 2018) / Jake Springer (M.Arch 2018) / Tyler Som-Dubreuil (BINT 2016) / Grace Santos (BINT 2016)


808 Comm Ave

Given Albert Kahn’s Peter Fuller Building at 808 Commonwealth Avenue as a canvas for design, the objective for this project was to renovate the existing ground level and supplement it with a new addition to the south. These new and revitalized spaces would create the Boston University Art Museum. Understanding the surrounding context was a critical factor during the conceptual phase. The site’s location at an intersection where layers of circulation and activity exist inspired the direction for the overall design. Utilizing what the building already had to offer, there was an increasing desire to link external site forces through internal phenomena. Exposing movement and creating a holistic system of paths throughout the interior became a driving force behind the form and function of the museum. An overarching concept of intersection, where movement and pausing converge along a defined path, became a key proponent for our team’s process. In addition to the primary concept, there were four subcategories that helped enforce the overall design:

Movement: circulation, light, and architectural form

Pausing: moments along a defined path throughout primary circulation

Interlocking: a hierarchy of public and private program

Sequence: an organized exchange between old and new