Harvard University / Peabody Terrace, Cambridge MA
Construction cost: $22,000,000 ($55,640,000
in current dollars)
Completed: 1996, Size: 107,000 sf / 497 beds
Peabody Terrace Graduate Student Housing was designed in the 1960s by José Luis Sert, then Dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Today, the high-rise towers are important examples of poured-in-place reinforced concrete modernist design; architects from around the world come to study the iconic housing complex.
Thirty years of unfortunate maintenance decisions had left the towers in desperate need of repair and modernization. Exterior work included repairs to the concrete envelope, complete replacement of the original window walls, and a full accessibility review. Interior work upgraded all critical building systems.
Collaboration with the student-tenants helped to define the issues and support a contemporary lifestyle in common spaces and apartments. Improving the function of modernist landmarks lets a new generation appreciate important 20th century modernist buildings. Today, Peabody Terrace is one of the most popular Harvard-affiliated housing sites.
1998 Boston Society of Architects – Excellence in Housing Award
1995 AIA New England – Design Award for Excellence in Architecture
"Peabody Terrace may now be rehabilitated in terms of its place in history, as well as its function at Harvard."