The project transformed a 1959 modernist building, originally designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott as a library-stacks building, with a new entrance, increased teaching and office space, a new circulation system, and high-performance glazing. Zinc and glass additions complement the original limestone, metal, and glass building and create a tuned coherence between old and new. A new floor and roof terrace were added to the top of the building, and formerly opaque walls were opened up to bring natural light into the core of the building.
Inside, several sections of floor were removed to create interlocking spaces that foster collaboration, learning, and co-working. Flexible conference and meeting rooms and collaborative areas encourage interdisciplinary work. At the same time, discreet areas are separated for focused work, including study carrels, private offices, and client consultation rooms. The project also houses a cutting-edge laboratory on law and cyberspace for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
The adaptive reuse of the existing building structure and enclosure results in a 40% reduction in embodied carbon emissions compared to a new construction building using standard industry materials. Overall, the adaptive reuse of the building saved about one million tons of embodied carbon, which is the equivalent to the annual energy use of 120,000 homes.
Deborah Berke Partners
Architect, Interior Designer
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Structural Engineer, Envelope Consultant
Altieri Sebor Wieber
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Haley & Aldrich
Information Technology, Audio Visual and Security Consultant