Smith Campus Center Receives BSA Education Facility Design Citation

The Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center was recognized at the BSA Awards Gala on January 23rd with a citation with Education Facilities Design.

[stblockquote title=”” top_left=”” author=””]This is what adaptive reuse should be. A great but difficult Sert building is transformed by warm, welcoming interior spaces and an inviting ground level that gives way to the street and gracefully receives visitors. The student center is a true hub for this urban university’s extended community and its visitors. – Jury Comments[/stblockquote]

Thank you to the Boston Society of Architects and members of the jury for recognizing this transformative higher education project!

Harvard Smith Center is Harleston Parker Medal Finalist

We are thrilled to share the Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center is a finalist for the Harleston Parker Medal!

This annual award seeks to recognize “the single most beautiful building or other structure” built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years. A panel of eight jurors, led by Paul Pettigrew, AIA, narrowed down nominations to six finalists, including the Smith Campus Center at Harvard.

The winner of the 2019 Harleston Parker Medal will be announced at the BSA Design Awards Gala, held on Thursday, January 23, 2020, in the Morris Auditorium at the 1981 Harleston Parker Medal-winning Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Read more about the Smith Campus Center here.

View the other Harleston Parker Medal finalists here.

Smith Center Cover Feature in RETROFIT

Featured on the cover of RETROFIT‘s September/October issue is the newly-renovated Smith Campus Center at Harvard University.

In “Harvard University Updates a Brutalist Structure Into a Campus Center That Also Supports the Wider Community,” Bruner/Cott Principal Henry Moss, AIA, LEED AP, discusses the recent renovation of the Richard A. Susan F. Smith Campus Center.

“Designed as an administrative building by Josep Lluis Sert, dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, in 1958, Holyoke Center, a Brutalist building on Harvard Square, was completed in 1966. The 100-foot-tall concrete structure was a remarkable work of urban design for its time, proposing innovative street-level pedestrian space at its base. But as the seminal building approached its half-century mark, it had become unloved and well-worn during the passing years.

In 2013, seeking to realize its first-ever physical hub for students, faculty, staff, visitors and the Cambridge, Mass., community at large, university representatives decided to repurpose the lower floors of the building as the new Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center. Part of a multi-year effort to create and improve common spaces across Harvard to ensure its physical spaces would foster the intellectual, cultural and social experience, as well as support the wider community, the revived building was envisioned as the new meeting place of ‘town and gown.'”l-worn during the passing years.

Read the full RETROFIT article here.

Living Building Makers: Creating Sustainable Buildings That Renew Our World

Living Building Makers: Creating Sustainable Buildings That Renew Our World is a handcrafted collection of stories celebrating the people who bring the built environment to life.

The book was written by Jonathan A. Wright, an accomplished maker specializing in the construction and design of sustainable, healthy, high-performance buildings. Wright Builders, Inc. has constructed two Living Buildings in Amherst, MA – the R.W. Kern Center and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.

Set on the Hampshire College campus, Jonathan A. Wright’s stories are a tribute to the unsung individuals – builders, tradespeople, designers, engineers, educators, craftspeople, and owners – who rolled up their sleeves to play a part in creating two of the greenest buildings in the world.

Living Building Makers: Creating Sustainable Buildings That Renew Our World is available through the Ecotone Publishing Bookstore, here.

Cambridge Historical Commission Honors Harvard Smith Campus Center

Congratulations to Harvard University for being selected to receive an award from the Cambridge Historical Commission for the restoration of the Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center!

The Cambridge Preservation Awards Program honors property owners who conserve and protect the city’s architecture.

This award will be presented at a ceremony and reception on May 16th which will showcase the project in a formal presentation.

Thank you, Cambridge Historical Commission and the City of Cambridge!

 

You can learn more about the Smith Campus Center here.

Keeping Up With The R.W. Kern Center: Part 1

It has almost been a full year since the R.W. Kern Center became a certified Living-Building, allowing us to observe and analyze its performance. Over the next month, architect Christopher Nielson, AIA, LEED AP will be analyzing the % wood moisture data from the R.W. Kern Center to see what lessons we can learn.

He and his team have been tracking the % moisture content of the wood framing in the walls to understand if and how moisture moves through a double-stud assembly. The wall assembly contains a permeable moisture barrier on the outside and relies upon the paint and caulk layer as the an interior moisture barrier. The idea is that the wall will get wetter in the winter seasons, but dry back out in the summer months.

Check back soon for updates!

 

Pink hues are exterior plywood and blue hues are interior wall framing.

Harvard Smith Campus Center is U.S. Building of the Week

The Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center at Harvard University was named the U.S. Building of the Week by world-architects!

Part of an ongoing university “Common Spaces” initiative, the new Smith Campus Center was designed to ensure its physical spaces foster the campus’s intellectual, cultural, and social experience and support the wider community. The project reconfigures the first, second, and tenth floors, reinterpreting the history and logic of Josep Lluis Sert’s architecture in a series of additions to, and removals from, the existing fabric to create a family of new internal spaces interspersed with a captured internal and external landscape.

Sert served as Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design from 1953 to 1969, during which time he designed the Holyoke Center across the street from Harvard Square and the gates to Harvard Yard. Now the Smith Campus Center, the administrative building was renovated by Hopkins Architects with Bruner/Cott Architects.

Read the full feature here.