renzo piano unites harvard art museums with glazed rooftop structure renzo piano unites harvard art museums with glazed rooftop structure
nov 14, 2014

renzo piano unites harvard art museums with glazed rooftop structure

renzo piano unites harvard art museums with glazed rooftop structure
photo by nic lehoux
all images courtesy of renzo piano building workshop

 

 

 

renowned italian architect renzo piano has completed work in cambridge, massachusetts at the site of harvard university’s three art museums. the project, which took eight years to finalize, involved consolidating the fogg, busch-reisinger and the arthur m. sackler museum within a singular upgraded facility.

 

articulated around the existing museums’ restored courtyard, the design integrates the existing 1920s georgian revival building with a glazed rooftop structure that connects the entirety of the scheme. this addition controls the amount of natural light entering the atrium, as well as the adjacent art study centers and galleries.

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the 8-year project unites the site’s three art institutions
photo by nic lehoux

 

 

 

ensuring that the remodeling returns the architecture to its original state, all modifications made after 1927 have been demolished, while each aspect of the historic building – structural, mechanical and technical – have been restored and upgraded. placed at a more prominent location on level four, the art study centers within the design have been significantly refurbished. above, the conservation lab will continue to occupy the top storey beneath the sloping glazed canopy. public amenities and support spaces for special events have been enlarged and modernized, including a 300 seat auditorium at basement level.

 

for designboom’s previous coverage of the project in its construction phase, see here.

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the facility is integrated with the existing 1920s georgian revival building
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the entrance to the complex
photo © michel denancé

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the conservation lab occupies the top storey beneath the sloping glazed canopy
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the glazed structure connects the entirety of the design
(left) photo © michel denancé
(right) photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
exhibition space is organized around the central atrium
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
looking upwards at the rooftop addition
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
support spaces for special events have been enlarged and modernized
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
light inside the building is carefully controlled
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the monolithic volume viewed from the passing street
photo by nic lehoux

renzo piano harvard art museum renovation cambridge designboom
the harvard art museums complex illuminated at night
photo by nic lehoux

 

 

project info:

 

location: cambridge, MA, USA
client: harvard art museums tom leutz
architects: renzo piano building workshop, in collaboration with payette associates inc. (boston)
design team: m. carroll and e. trezzani (partners in charge) with j. lee, e. baglietto (partner), s. ishida (partner), a. stern, f. becchi, m. orlandi, p. carrera, j. pejkovic and r. aeck, b. cook, j. cook, m. fleming, m. palacio, s. joubert; m. ottonello (CAD operator); f. cappellini, f. terranova (models)
consultants: robert silman associates (structure); arup (MEP engineering and lighting design); nitsch engineering (civil engineering); davis langdon (cost consultant); carl cathcart (arborist); building conservation associates (restoring consulting)

  • THIS PROJECT WAS DONE WITH GREAT SENSITIVITY AND THOUGHT TO THE EXISTING BUILDING, AND THE ADITION WORK PERFECTLY WITH THE OLD – THIS IS A GREAT ADDITION TO THE HARVARD BUILDING COLLECTION.

    J.pINTO says:
  • Bland an insensitive addition. doesn’t communicate with the original Fogg or Corbu’s Carpenter Center whatsoever. The granite base and connection to the Carpenter Center’s ramp would be a disgrace to every first semester architecture student. The expensive wood facade might as well have been vinyl siding. Would have saved them a buck or two…
    The ‘monolithic volume viewed from the passing street’ image is tilt shift photography and image stitching at its best. You won’t get a view anywhere close to this in reality.
    Too bad. Great opportunity lost.

    Around the corner says:
  • J.pINTO summed it up. I couldn’t have put it better. Too bad.

    Pfram says:

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