Hauser Hall, Harvard Law School

Hauser Hall

Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, 1993

Harleston Parker Medal, 1994

In their 1960s projects, KMW was on the leading edge of design, creating striking works in concrete and glass at Boston City Hall and the Five Cent Savings Bank in downtown Boston. Here, almost 20 years later, they look back in time to the work of H.H. Richardson. His nearby Austin Hall and Sever Hall provide an alternative kind of monumentality in tune with the post-modern historicism still trending in the 1990s.

Hauser's tall, flat south façade defines the end of Holmes Field, completing the fourth side of this traditional quadrangle; the rounded north façade responds to the more fluid shape of Walter Gropius’s Harkness Commons just beyond. Ornamented brick, an arched entry, and projecting bays pick up on familiar Richardsonian themes, while the off-kilter symmetry, exaggerated vertical massing, and the broad overhanging roof are very much KMW inventions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, the U.S. Supreme Court justice after whom neighboring Holmes Field was named, noted that "The law… has been called the government of the living by the dead…. There is, too, a peculiar logical pleasure in making manifest the continuity between what we are doing and what has been done before." These six-time Harleston Parker Medalists clearly took a similar pleasure in their design for Hauser Hall.