Smith Campus Center, Harvard

Smith Campus Center

Renovation of Holyoke Center (Original by Sert et al, 1965)

Hopkins Architects, with Bruner Cott; Arup, Faithful and Gould; Simpson Gumpertz and Heger; and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, 2018

Harleston Parker Medal, 2019 (2nd medal for this building following 1967 award for Sert, Jackson, and Gouley)

The Campus Center is a complete re-appraisal of Josep Lluis Sert's Holyoke Center. The project reconfigures the ground floors and the top floor, reinterpretting the logic of Sert's design in a series of additions and removals to create new spaces interspersed with internal and external landscape. Perhaps for the first time, it provides a public "front door" to Harvard's spread-out campus, where visitors can feel they have arrived at the University.

The project adds new spaces with a rich variety of scale and character and open views and light spanning the width of the building. A three-story pavilion is the new focal point, with a central room anchoring a series of interconnected social and meeting spaces. A sunken landscape vitrine separates Sert's central double-height concrete arcade from a new glass-fronted addition that opens up the Holyoke St. facade, bringing light and plantings into the heart of the building and redefining Sert's passage as a place to pause and connect. A new landscaped terrace faces Dunster St., sitting high enough to take advantage of the western exposure.

Given its central location between Harvard Yard and the River Houses, the Smith Center is a transformative addition to the intellectual, cultural and social life of Harvard and the Square.

Source: Hopkins Architects