Lewis Law Center — a center for cutting-edge research at Harvard

Cambridge, MA
Expected completion 2021
Type: Academic / Offices / Adaptive Reuse
Theme: Transforming Old Buildings / Making & Learning

We are currently redesigning the Lewis International Law Center at the Harvard Law School to create a 21st century learning and work environment. The space will be inhabited by students, faculty, and staff, as well as research affiliates and law clinic clients.

The original modernist building, designed in 1959 by Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, & Abbott, is modernized with a new entrance, increased teaching and office space, a new circulation system, and a high-performance facade. Metal and glass additions complement the original limestone, metal, and glass palette, creating a subtle dialog between old and new. An additional floor is built on top of the building and formerly opaque walls are opened up with glass to bring natural light into the core of the building.

Inside, library stacks have been removed to create interlocking spaces that foster collaboration, learning, and co-working. Flexible conference areas, meeting rooms and collaborative spaces encourage interdisciplinary work. At the same time, discreet areas are set aside for focused work, creating study carrels, private offices, and client consultation rooms. The project also houses a cutting-edge research center on law and cyberspace for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

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The sheer variety of spaces can accommodate diversity while still promoting a sense of community. This is really what social sustainability is about.

Ameet Hiremath, Partner


Deborah Berke Partners
Architect, Interior Designer

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Structural Engineer, Envelope Consultant

Altieri Sebor Wieber
MEP/FP Engineer

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Landscape Architect

Nitsch Engineering
Civil Engineer

Haley & Aldrich
Geotechnical Consultant

Atelier Ten
Sustainability Consultant

One Lux
Lighting Designer

Information Technology, Audio Visual and Security Consultant

R.W. Sullivan
Code Consultant

Signage Designer

Context & Drawings