The new facility will combine the Fogg’s protected 1920’s Georgian revival building, with a new addition on its east side, along Prescott Street. A new glazed rooftop structure bridges the old and the new. The rooftop addition, designed with sensitivity to surrounding historic structures, will allow controlled natural light into the conservation lab, study centers, and galleries, as well as the courtyard below.
The original 1920’s building by Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbot Architects, was the first of its kind, combining museum space, teaching and conservation in one facility to promote scholarship. Following this tradition, the new centre is designed to make the collection of 250,000 objects more accessible for teaching and learning.
All post-1925 additions and alterations have been demolished to make way for the new extension on Prescott Street. All aspects of the historic building – structural, mechanical and technical – will be restored and upgraded.
Galleries and study centers are being significantly expanded; as befits their importance to the mission of the museums, the study centers are at the center of the building on level four. The conservation lab will continue to occupy the top of the building, above the study center under the new sloping glazed roof. Public amenities, and support spaces for special events will be enlarged and modernized, and include an auditorium of 294 seats on the lower level.
While the original entrance faces onto the university campus, a new entrance into the museums from Prescott Street symbolically opens the museums to the local community. Views from the interior courtyard through to the entrances on both sides of the building will help visitors to orientate themselves and there will also be secondary views, through the café and the shop, to Broadway and the Carpenter Center next door.
At the north end of the extension a winter garden projects beyond the main gallery volume. This and other glazed sections of facade in the first-floor exhibition space allow views into the museums from the street and bring daylight into the building in a very controlled way.
The project is scheduled for completion in November 2014.
Today marks the reopening of The Harvard Art Museums after a six-year building project designed by RPBW. Harvard University’s three art museums – the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger and the Arthur M. Sackler – are being consolidated into one reorganized and upgraded facility, Harvard Art Museums, on the current site of the Fogg Museum. The restored historic courtyard of the Fogg Museum will be at the heart of 200,00 sq. ft (18,500 sq.m) of new museum space.
Doors open at 10am, and the opening celebration begins promptly at 10:30am. The celebration will feature a welcoming ceremony, remarks from Director Thomas W. Lentz and Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber, and live performances in the Calderwood Courtyard. See the project here : http://bit.ly/1xx7BYc
Client: Harvard Art Museums Tom Leutz
Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects
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).