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

Cambridge, MA
2021
Targeting LEED Gold
50,448 square feet total
Type: Academic / Adaptive Reuse
Theme: Transforming Old Buildings

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.

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Key People

Ameet Hiremath
Project Lead

Caroline Wharton Ewing
Interior Design Lead

Deborah Berke
Collaborating Partner

Brendan M. Lee
Project Manager

Elizabeth Chadkin
Project Manager - Interior Design

Collaborators

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

Cerami
Information Technology, Audio Visual and Security Consultant

R.W. Sullivan
Code Consultant

AFreeman
Signage Designer

Context & Drawings

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