renzo piano: harvard art museums renovation underway
original content
mar 04, 2013
renzo piano: harvard art museums renovation underway


renzo piano: harvard art museums renovation underway
images courtesy of harvard art museums / renzo piano building workshop

 

 

 

renzo piano‘s renovation of the ‘harvard art museums’ is well underway. the project aims to unify the university’s three distinct art museums under one glazed roof. the renowned fogg museum, modeled after a 15th century italian villa, the busch-reisinger, the only museum in north america exclusively dedicated to the study of art from german-speaking countries, and the arthur m. sackler museum, the james stirling- designed collection of asian art, will all be joined in an effort to keep harvard at the forefront of multidisciplinary research and study in visual art, history and design. combined with interiors by wHY architecture, the impressive glass roof will enclose the historic calderwood courtyard and admit a generous amount of natural light. dubbed the ‘light-machine’ by the architect, the transparent covering opens up the symbolic heart of the museum and its ground floor arcades while continuing to preserve the travertine facades, so carefully modeled after canon’s house of the church of san biagio in montepulciano, italy. the massive renovation will include extra gallery space on the second and third levels; expanded study centers, classrooms and offices on the  fourth level; and a bright, new home for the straus center for conservation and technical studies on the top levels. the center is the oldest fine arts conservation treatment, training and research facility in the unites states. the project has been challenging given the crucial set of programs already enlivening the architecture, the existing structures’ position on the national register of historic places and a particularly limited site flanked by le corbusier’s only north american building. the addition is a balanced and elegant graft on the already rich new england edifices. the museum is set to open in fall 2014.

 


aerial view of the historical building
image © les vants

 


a new building is grafted onto the historical structure
image © peter atkinson

 


the exterior in progress from the corner of broadway and atkinson
image © peter atkinson

 


an early construction view of the roof
image © peter atkinson

 


(left):  interior truss system
(right): glass framework installation
image © peter vanderwarker 

 


worm’s eye view of glass roof framing
image © peter atkinson

 


waterproofing material is fitted between the glass panes
image © peter atkinson 

 


the space of the future conservation lab
image © peter atkinson

 


(left): the joinery of the roof
image © justin lee
(right): side metalwork being installed
image © peter atkinson

 


‘harvard art museums’ by renzo piano, boston, massachusetts, USA
image © peter atkinson

 


glazed roof
image © harvard art museum

 


image © harvard art museum

 


even in the construction stages, the roof admits an ethereal quality of light
image © harvard art museum

 


the light capturing roof is the central architectural gesture
image © harvard art museum

 


hints of the surrounding architecture
image © harvard art museum

 


the ample new daylight will make the viewing experience completely different
image © harvard art museum

 


detail of the building system
image © harvard art museum

 


view from the interior
image © harvard art museum

 


‘harvard art museums’ by renzo piano, boston, massachusetts, USA
image © harvard art museum

 

 

 
image © harvard art museum

 


even in the model, the light well lends an incredible quality to the interior
image © harvard art museum

 


model
image © harvard art museum

 


the famous buildings at 32 quincy street are given a new skin
image © renzo piano building workshop

 


‘harvard art museums’ by renzo piano, boston, massachusetts, USA
image © renzo piano building workshop

 


front facade rendering
image © harvard art museum /renzo piano building workshop

 


interior view
image © renzo piano building workshop

 


the renovation seams together three distinct museums with circulation and a grand light well
image © harvard art museum

 


section
image © harvard art museum /renzo piano building workshop

 


elevation drawing /model
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

 

 

floor plan level -1
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

 


floor plan level 0
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

 

 

floor plan level 1
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

 

 

floor plan level 2
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

 

 


floor plan level 3
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

 

floor plan level 4
image © harvard art museum / renzo piano building workshop

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