Academic Center

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering


LocationNeedham, MA

Total GSF75,000 GSF

Completed: 2002


The Academic Center responds to evolving teaching methods by providing highly flexible, highly wired classrooms, laboratories and faculty research areas. Classrooms are large, with integrated services and corner slot windows that let in daylight while maximizing usable wall surfaces. Multiple furniture configurations are possible, as are multiple teaching arrangements: each room incorporates dimmable lighting, a variety of wall surfaces, and accommodation for a range of projection, teleconferencing and wireless equipment. Laboratories are similarly flexible, anticipating future space reconfiguration and redistribution.


Flexibility is critical for long-term sustainable planning. With institutions in a constant state of flux, campus buildings are most sustainable when they anticipate future changing needs. The Academic Center contains 28 teaching spaces whose design allows a variety of uses and modifications. Each space incorporates demountable wall systems, multiple instruction walls, oversized doors, underfloor air delivery, floor box grids, and demountable risers.


Photography © Michael Moran