Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering

classroom Building in Boston, Massachusetts

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Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering
Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering.JPG
The entrance of Metcalf, with the sculpture out front.
General information
TypeClassroom Building
LocationBoston, Massachusetts
Address590-596 Commonwealth Avenue
Coordinates42°20′54.5″N 71°6′0.65″W / 42.348472°N 71.1001806°W / 42.348472; -71.1001806
OwnerBoston University

Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering (SCI) is a building owned by Boston University named for Arthur G.B. Metcalf. Metcalf founded what would later become the university's College of Engineering and served as its chair. He also donated millions of dollars toward the construction of the building.[1] SCI contains offices, classrooms, and laboratories primarily used by the Physics, Chemistry, and Biology Departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. Its facilities are also used for biomedical research. Boston University boasts that there is a waiting list for researchers wanting to conduct research in the building.[2]

The edifice was constructed out of three existing industrial buildings in 1983 when John Silber was Boston University's president.[3][4] The building's modern atrium was originally a spacing between two of the original buildings. The building underwent a $25 million replacement of its ventilation system in 2008, resulting in a two-story HVAC unit being installed on the building's roof. The original unit installed in 1983 was inadequate for the size of the building, particularly in dealing with the moisture of ambient air on hot summer days. The atrium of the building has large green pipes running the height of the building which connect to the HVAC. The exposed nature of these pipes recalls the architectural movement of utilitarian Structural Expressionism akin to Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.[5]

The building is set back from the street by a brick plaza, formerly a parking lot,[citation needed] which includes rectangular patches of grass. A metal sculpture in front is titled "Explosion".

Previously, in the place of the building, at the same address, had been a converted parking garage, the basement of which had been a music venue known as the Psychedelic Supermarket. The venue had had such bands as Cream (1967), the Grateful Dead (1967), Janis Joplin (1968), and the Moody Blues (1968).[6][7]

Green HVAC pipes running from the basement to the top floor of Metcalf


  1. ^ Arthur G. B. Metcalf '32 - The Tech
  2. ^ Boston University Admissions - Academic Facilities Archived 2007-08-07 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Boston University | Visitor Center | About the University | World University Archived 2007-08-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ B.U. Bridge: Boston University community's weekly newspaper
  5. ^ BU Bridge News - Week of 15 October 1999
  6. ^ "Rock Prosopography 101".
  7. ^ "The Bosstown Sound - the Psychedelic Supermarket".
Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering