The Boston Architectural College is pleased to announce the completion of a $14 million purchase and renovation project at 951 Boylston Street, opening a new campus building for the first time in nearly 50 years. Since purchasing the building in late 2006 to support the needs of increased enrollment and expanded programming, the BAC has completed a full renovation featuring modern, flexible learning and meeting spaces that support teaching and learning to prepare for current and emerging trends in design learning and professional practice.
The project was completed by Commodore Construction and the Institute for Human Centered Design.
"The BAC's renovation of the former Division 16 Police Station at 951 Boylston Street into studios, workshops, and community gathering spaces marks the first time in nearly half a century that we have opened a new building for teaching professional design," said President Ted Landsmark. "This iconic 19th-century building is linked to our 20th-century Newbury Street facility by a recently completed Green Alley sustainability project. Our practitioner-educators now have appropriate spaces within which to teach across the disciplines of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and design studies. This new Back Bay space enables us to bring together design professionals who think innovatively about how design can address pressing urban, environmental, health and wellness, and sustainability problems and supports our engagement with diverse individuals and groups that use design to improve human living, work, and recreational conditions. We thank the many people who have brought this long-sought dream to fruition, and we are pleased to welcome new colleagues and friends to the BAC's Boylston Street campus facility."
The former Back Bay Police Station Division 16 was built in 1887 and subsequently served as home to Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. The building now includes student meeting spaces, studios, a lecture hall, and a gallery. It also features, for the first time, a universally accessible entrance through the front doors of the building.
"This is the third phase of a multi-phase renovation to restore the exterior to its original state but adapt the interior to a modern teaching, exhibition, and gathering space for students, faculty, and the public," said Jim Dunn, executive vice president at the BAC. "It also cements our place in the Back Bay for generations to come as a neighbor who can contribute to the vitality of the streetscape and the fabric of the building genealogy."