Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
A fusion of traditional façade and modern, sustainable amenities
This 1932 neo-Georgian former science building on historic Radcliffe Yard was reborn as the new home for the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study through a comprehensive exterior restoration and interior renovation. We worked closely with the Harvard Green Campus Initiative to make intelligent, sustainable decisions that support a handsome and efficient center. Our design encourages interaction among the institute’s 50 fellows while giving them quiet, private, and comfortable places to work.
This complete renovation provides improved circulation and individual offices/studios for the Radcliffe fellows—scholars in the sciences and humanities, visual artists and musicians—clustered around shared social spaces and meeting rooms, with administrative offices on the first floor.
- The interior vocabulary is designed to maximize light while alluding to the modernist movements of the 1930s, when Byerly was built. We heavily integrated glass into the overall interior design, from glass railings to corridor doors. We referenced the original orchard that was once Radcliffe Yard with an apple tree pattern applied to glazed interior privacy walls.
- To combat decades of wear and tear on the façade, we repointed the exterior brick. We replaced all of the building’s windows to match the originals, complete with historical architectural features, including iron railings and restored metal archways.
- We designed a glass-sided entry ramp to provide accessibility while retaining the historic character of the neo-Georgian façade.
- We redesigned existing exterior lighting to include new 1930s-style lanterns perched in the center of the wrought-iron archways. The grounds were returned to their original intent by the removal of base planting in the yard. The space received new landscaping, including new sprinklers, drainage, and utility tie-ins.
- Our green design features included a geo-exchange system, improved envelope performance, low-flow water fixtures, low-emitting paints and materials, significant daylighting and sensors, and a real-time energy use “dashboard” in the lobby to help educate building occupants on their energy and water usage.