Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion, Cambridge
Renzo Piano 

Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion, Cambridge

Renzo Piano 


Harvard University’s three art museums – the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger and the Sackler – are being consolidated into one reorganized and upgraded facility, Harvard Art Museums, on the current site of the Fogg Museum on Quincy Street.

The restored historic courtyard of the Fogg Art Museum will be at the heart of 18,500 square meters of new museum space. The new facility will combine the Fogg’s protected 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, allows controlled natural light into the conservation lab, study centers, and galleries, as well as the courtyard below.

The original 1920s building by Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbot Architects, was the first of its kind, combining museum space, teaching and conservation in one facility. Following this tradition, the new center is designed to make the collection of 200,000 objects more accessible.

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 will be restored and upgraded. Galleries and study centers are being significantly expanded; as befits their importance to the mission of the museum, 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 at basement level.

While the original entrance faces onto the university campus, a new entrance into the museum from Prescott Street symbolically opens the museum 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 by Le Corbusier.

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 museum from the street and bring daylight into the building in a very controlled way.


Obra Work

Renovación de los museos de arte de Harvard Harvard Art Museums Renovation and Expansion

Cliente Client

Harvard Art Museums

Arquitectos Architects

Renzo Piano Building Workshop en colaboración con in collaboration with Payette

Colaboradores Collaborators

M. Carroll y E. Trezzani (socios responsables partners in charge) with J. Lee, E. Baglietto, S. Ishida (socios partners); R. Aeck, F. Becchi, B. Cook, M. Orlandi, J. Pejkovic, A. Stern, J. Cook, M. Fleming, J. M. Palacio, S. Joubert; M. Ottonello (técnico CAD?CAD operator); F. Cappellini, F. Terranova, I. Corsaro (maquetas models)

Consultores Consultants

Robert Silman Associates (estructura structure); Arup (instalaciones, iluminación, ingeniería fachada, LEEDMEP, lighting, facade engineering, code consulting, LEED); Nitsch Engineering (ingeniería civil civil engineering); Anthony Associates (madera wood scientist); Davis Langdon (costes cost consultant); Sandy Brown Associates (acústica acoustics); Car Cathcart (arboricultura arborist); Building Conservation Associates (restauración restoration)

Fotos Photos

Nic Lehoux, Peter Vanderwarker