Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
A sensitive restoration and renovation renews a landmark law school building
The comprehensive interior renovation and exterior restoration of this 1883 H.H. Richardson building required close collaboration with the Cambridge Historical Commission throughout the design process. The project yielded teaching spaces that better met current needs, additional usable space in the attic and basement, and dramatically improved accessibility and systems.
This treasured landmark is the first building constructed in the U.S. specifically for a law school. We developed a comprehensive master renovation plan for the entire building which led to a complete, phased exterior and interior renewal project. Our overriding priority was to return to the consistent use of materials and richness of palette and details that existed in the original design of Austin Hall, adapting where necessary for contemporary uses and teaching styles.
This renovation resulted in:
- Significant reconfiguration of the four largest teaching spaces, including integration of audiovisual and telecommunications technologies
- Replacement of all mechanical and electrical systems, lighting, and acoustics
- Dramatic improvement of life-safety accessibility by the sensitive insertion of an elevator and a new fire stair, as well as in-ground lifts that serve the classrooms
- Additional usable space reclaimed in the attic and basement