Below and Beyond: Imagining the future of underground infrastructure at Harvard Square

This studio aims to propose near future scenario of the Brattle Tunnel, a decommissioned train infrastructure located under the Harvard Square.  Being the oldest settlement of the US, Boston and its neighboring towns have various written/ unwritten yet intriguing stories on the existence of underground structures. Many of them remain as mysterious rumors, including the alleged secret tunnels connecting the harbor and the bars during the Prohibition Era. Though the one underneath the Harvard Square, “Brattle Tunnel”, which has been defunct since the Redline’s extension between Harvard Sq. and Alewife began to operate, presents infinite possibilities to its ground above. New imaginaries connecting the urban space of Harvard square with what lies underneath offers immense possibilities in ways public space can be expanded across a range of uses and affiliations. 
 
During the first few weeks of the semester, the studio will have workshops and lectures with experts of urban design/ planning, transportation, and other related engineering so that the proposals can be based on the real dimensions and measures, while being highly speculative and imaginative.   

As the semester progresses, students will be urged to think the role of underground structure in tackling the impact of climate change. The genuine charm of the empty tunnel and its spatial implication in relation to the Charles river and other surrounding landscapes will give an opportunity to re-imagine the way in which the public occupies and experiences the tight-knit fabric of the Harvard Square.