Shad Hall, Harvard Business School

Shad Hall

Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, 1988

Harleston Parker Medal, 1990

This massive fitness center delivers an elegant solution on a site between Harvard’s stadium and the Business School. It manages to relate to both, while establishing a character all its own.

The north half of the building is broken into a series of red brick pavilions that match the scale of the B-School’s primarily Georgian Revival buildings. Its white mullioned windows and grand recessed entry are an updated nod to HBSs' architectural “brand”. Fingers of brick further articulate the pavilions – pointing up to frame high clerestory windows. In the south half of the building these fingers are flipped, pointing down to create colonnades that echo the monumental arcade of the stadium across the street. Pitched roofs and minimal but expressive details balance a sense of tradition with the architects’ commitment to innovation.

Some have suggested that the gilded “capital” atop the column at the main entry is a visual pun, conflating the architectural and financial meanings of the word.