Harvard University could begin work this summer on a $1 billion science and engineering complex in Allston after receiving approval Thursday from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

At almost 557,000 square feet, and with room for 80 faculty and 450 researchers, the complex along Western Avenue will be the largest academic center in Allston.

Harvard hopes the facility is completed in time for the 2020-2021 academic year. The new complex will feature laboratories, classrooms and research space and is slated to house two-thirds of the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“The growth of our campus in Allston is an extraordinarily exciting opportunity in the Greater Boston region for collaboration, discovery, and innovation,” Harvard University president Drew Faust said in a statement.


The university also received approval on Thursday for a $183.5 million renovation of the Soldiers Field Park graduate housing complex. The project involves renovating the existing four-building housing complex over four years.

Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.