British firm Hopkins Architects and US studios Bruner/Cott Architects and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates have overhauled a enormous, 1960s developing at Harvard University, adding in living walls and glazed rooms.

The developing – officially named the Richard A and Susan F Smith Campus Center – is positioned on a prime spot inside the university’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

The renovation is “a radical re-appraisal” of the Holyoke Center, which opened in 1966 and was renamed in 2013.

The original developing – Harvard’s initial higher-rise – was conceived by Josep Lluís Sert, who served as dean of Harvard’s Graduate College of Design and style from 1953 to 1969 and received the AIA Gold Medal in 1981.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

Typically referred to as brutalist in style, the facility is composed of concrete and glass. At the time of its completion, the developing received criticism for getting as well significant and out of spot.

The building’s interior layout was modified more than the years. The most current overhaul was developed by London-primarily based Hopkins Architects in collaboration with nearby studio Bruner/Cott Architects. New York’s Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates served as the landscape architect.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

Encompassing more than 360,000 square feet (27,870 square metres), the colossal developing homes eateries, shops, occasion space, offices and locations for socialising and studying. Intended to act as a front door to Harvard, the refurbished facility serves each the university neighborhood and the higher public.

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“It is aspect of a wider, ongoing ‘Common Spaces’ initiative by the university to assure its physical spaces foster the campus’s intellectual, cultural and social expertise and assistance the wider neighborhood,” the group mentioned in a project description.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

The objective of the renovation was to open up components of the developing and develop a lot more communal locations. The architects sought to respond to Sert’s style “in a manner that is bold, transformative and dynamic – but which, with each and every intervention, is grounded in and sympathetic to the history and style of the developing”, mentioned Andy Barnett, a senior companion at Hopkins Architects.

On the exterior, the group repaired the facades and added a lot more glass to the reduced portion of the developing. Inside the facility, the ground, second and 1oth floors have been fully reconfigured. Levels 3 by way of nine, which include offices, have been not modified.

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Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

On the north and east sides of the developing, the group produced two glazed pavilions, which are meant to boost “transparency and connectivity involving the interior and the surrounding urban realm”.

An current arcade, which runs by way of the centre of the ground floor, is lined with meals vendors and seating. The group removed concrete screens but retained the corridor’s original columns and waffle-slab ceiling. Bridges produced of glass and steel traverse the space.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

Situated just off the arcade is a significant, skylit zone named Harvard Commons. The triple-height space is ringed by partial floors and functions a variety of seating choices. Ceilings are covered with wooden slats to aid dampen noise and add visual warmth.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

Plantings have been incorporated all through the facility, each inside and out. Gardens with trees, bushes and ferns are visible by way of floor-to-ceiling glass. Lobbies flanking each ends of the arcade function verdant living walls, which are irrigated making use of rainwater collected on the centre’s rooftop.

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The second floor encompasses collaboration and meeting rooms, along with quiet study locations fitted with couches, tables and fireplaces. A new outside terrace has wooden decking and lush greenery.

The 10th floor gives each formal and informal gathering spaces. Guests are afforded sweeping views of the campus and surrounding urban landscape, which includes the Charles River.

Smith Center by Hopkins and Bruner Cott

Other current projects at Harvard University involve the ultra-efficient HouseZero, which entailed the overhaul of a pre-1940s dwelling occupied by the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities. The project was developed by Snøhetta, Skanska and university researchers.

Final summer time, it was announced that architecture firms Herzog &amp de Meuron and Beyer Blinder Belle will oversee the renovation and expansion of Gund Hall, dwelling to the Harvard’s Graduate College of Design and style. The project will entail subtle modifications to the brutalist building, which was developed by architect John Andrews and completed in 1972.

Photography is by Nic Lehoux.

Project credits:

Design and style architect: Hopkins Architects
Executive architect: Bruner/Cott Architects
Engineer: Arup
Landscape architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates


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