George Thrush is director of the School of Architecture at Northeastern University. Here are a couple excerpts from his article about why 1 Western Ave is not so bad.
Let’s face it. The graduate student dormitory at the Harvard along the Charles River, known as One Western Avenue, is an almost uniquely reviled building. Since its completion a few years ago, it has been pilloried by neighbors, activists, critics, and even architects.
The building has no doubt failed to perform a key political act, namely securing a modern future for the new Harvard in Allston. And the building’s negative press has since fed on itself to the point that One Western Avenue is now seen as a serious cautionary (and very negative) example of how things might go wrong in the high stakes world of Harvard’s institutional planning for its expansion.