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Allston Updates & FAQs

Info for faculty and staff (Harvard Key required)


Where is the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) located?

The Science and Engineering Complex is located at 150 Western Avenue in Allston, across from Harvard Business School and the i-lab, Life Lab, and Launch Lab. 114 Western Avenue has been newly renovated and includes both classrooms and administrative offices.

Who occupies the Science and Engineering Complex?

The Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is the primary occupant of the Science and Engineering Complex. Researchers from other Harvard science departments will also use core research areas and facilities there. Certain segments of SEAS remain in Cambridge. 

All SEAS central administrative offices, including the Dean, are located in Allston (either in the SEC or in the adjacent satellite office/classroom building at 114 Western Ave.). There is shared hoteling space in Cambridge for administrative office hours, and there is touch-down space in Allston for those not located in Allston who wish to spend part of a day there for meetings, etc. Faculty administrators/coordinators and Research Portfolio Managers are located on the campus of the faculty they support. 

How does the Science and Engineering Complex fit into the Allston community?

Harvard is committed to fostering a community in Allston which attracts business ventures and residents alike. The Science and Engineering Complex will help to anchor the proposed Allston Greenway, a 10-acre park featuring multi-use paths that will stretch from North Harvard Street towards the Charles River. The Science and Engineering Complex is the next addition to the Allston-Harvard community which includes Harvard Business School, the i-lab network, the Ed Portal, athletics facilities and retail tenants like Swissbakers, and will one day help to attract commercial partners to the adjacent Enterprise Research Campus property as well.

What about parking and transportation between the two campuses?

The SEC includes a range of amenities to support safe, efficient and accessible multimodal access between Harvard’s Cambridge and Allston campuses. The SEC area includes new streets, shuttle bus stops, streetscape improvements, infrastructure upgrades, and transportation improvements including parking, transit accommodations, bike facilities and pedestrian amenities.

Cambridge parking remains as is. There is a total of 275 car parking spaces between the 114 Western Avenue and 2 Hague Street lots. There are also 570 bicycle parking places in Allston—414 of them covered and secured parking spaces and 60 inside a bike garage in the SEC. Metro-Boston's public bike share system, Blue Bikes, have hubs on both campuses.

In addition, there is a mobility hub on Academic Way that supports multi-modal connections between Harvard shuttle stops, MBTA bus stops, bicycle and pedestrian routes, Zipcar, electric car charging, and BlueBikes locations. The Commonwealth is also exploring a commuter rail and bus station to the south of the SEC site, to be known as West Station, which will address long-term growth.

See all transportation options.

Is there food available in Allston?

The SEC Cafe is up and running, and offers a number of hot and cold food stations, including a grill station, a deli, hot soup, a salad bar, pre-made food bowls (vegetable, grain, and protein mixes), smoothies, and desserts. Undergraduates can pay for their meals using BoardPlus.

Undergraduates on the meal plan are able to swipe for FlyBy meals — a Harvard University Dining Services offering of nutritious to-go options.

View additional local dining options around Allston.

Which services falls under the new SEAS Service Center?

The Service Center can address questions about AV Services, Room Reservations (non-academic), Phones, Printers & Copiers (Crimson Print), Mail & Package Delivery, Bike Storage, Kitchenette Management, and Lost & Found. For more information, reach out to the Service Center team at

Who designed the SEC?

Designed by Behnisch Architekten, the SEC is an exciting and pleasant place to be. In addition to the world-class research and teaching it facilitates, it is LEED Gold, and possibly Platinum (the highest level of sustainability under the worldwide green building certification program). This is one of the most environmentally- and human-friendly science buildings in the world. There is plenty of natural light and glass, and the artificial lighting in the building is circadian in design.

The atrium spans all eight levels and looks out onto a terrace of lawn, plantings, and an interim nursery that supplies trees for future development in the area. There is a café in the atrium and plenty of other dining options within a short walk. Space has been designed to encourage collaboration, with multiple lounges, meeting rooms, roof decks, community kitchens, and clear sight lines between floors. Shared core research spaces have also been designed to provide space and equipment for 3D printing, molecular and cellular biology, imaging, materials and device characterization.

Would you tell me a little about the design of 114 Western Ave?

Designed by Baker Design Group, and also LEED Commercial Interiors Certified, the interior renovation of this existing structure includes offices for SEAS Administration, classrooms that meet design criteria equivalent with those in the SEC, and finishes and furniture that meet Harvard’s healthy materials requirements.

What else is happening in Allston?

In addition to the iLab, LifeLab, LaunchLab, ArtLab, the opening of Klarman Hall at HBS, and Harvard Athletics, plans for an Enterprise Research Campus are in process.

What is the Enterprise Research Campus?

The area known as the Enterprise Research Campus is a Harvard University-owned parcel in Allston Landing North which was previously occupied by CSXT, a transportation company. The University envisions this property as a becoming a non-institutional center for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship within the City of Boston and the region. By developing the Enterprise Research Campus, the University will be transforming a previously industrial rail yard into a green, pedestrian-friendly area in Allston for business and research. Given its proximity to Harvard Business School and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), as well as peer universities, healthcare leaders, and Boston’s science and technology sector, the new development area has the potential to become a hub for anchor companies, incubators, startups, and social enterprises.

Do we know what the long-term plans for Cambridge are?

Longer-term planning efforts, including faculty aspirations for the Areas, will be coordinated with FAS. In the intermediate five to 15-year term after groups vacate to Allston, Gordon McKay Labs, ESL, and Northwest B1 will continue to be used for SEAS experimental research labs. The future use of MD has not been determined at this time. A planning study by Ann Beha Architects (ABA) is looking at the current and future program and renewal needs of Pierce, Cruft, and the Bridge.