Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation

Russell Museum at MGH

Leers Weinzapfel Associates, 2012

Preservation Achievement Award, 2012

Located at the entry to MGH’s downtown campus, this freestanding hospital museum is the first of its kind in the United States, showcasing the evolution of medicine and surgery at the hospital and the innovative science and research behind it. Built on a tiny sliver site, the building’s gleaming copper and glass façade spans a city block, identifying the main entrance to the hospital with a large presence facing Cambridge Street.

A double height entry lobby gives a generous and welcoming scale to the building, and its monumental stair joins first and second floors. The fully glazed ground floor exhibition space draw visitors in and engages the building with the public and the neighborhood. The second floor houses a flexible meeting, assembly, and reception space for hospital seminars and events overlooking the entry and gallery below. An oriel window offers glimpses of the activity of street and sidewalk. The pergola covered roof garden, with more than 30 kinds of trees, shrubs, grasses, and vines, provides a contemplative space for the Hospital, patients, visitors and neighbors, and dramatic views over downtown Boston and Beacon Hill.

The recycled copper metal exterior provides a durable, maintenance-free skin which will age in color gracefully with time. Copper-colored fritted glazing provides insulation and shading, and allows natural daylight to penetrate the building. The green roof, as well as pervious site paving and plantings, absorb storm water and reduce the heat island effect.

Source: Leers Weinzapfel Associates