New Campus

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering


Location: Needham, MA

Total GSF: 80 Acres

Completed: 2002 / Dedication 2003


The new campus explores the formal interaction of buildings and landscape at a large scale. The campus is at once inwardly focused and expansive: human-scaled elements combine with larger planning gestures to produce a series of spaces that are both livable and grand. An elliptical central green orients length-wise along a sloping hillside and anchors the design conceptually, formally and spatially. Spaces within and around the oval invite student inhabitation and interaction, and provide glimpses of long-range vistas. 

Sustainable thinking underpins the entire new campus. Buildings orient to maximize solar exposures, and existing site constraints, including extensive wetlands, utility corridors, and an underground aqueduct – inform building placement. Architectural guidelines establish energy and resource efficiency as integral to building design, and propose a language of overhangs, exterior shading devices, daylighting strategies, and local materials. A central plant supports the four initial buildings and is scaled to accommodate future growth.


Photography © Michael Moran