A new top floor and metal cladding are just a few of the changes made to the 1950s stone-clad house. HarvardThe US studio has taken over the’s Lewis International Law Center. Deborah Berke Partners.

This facility, which was constructed in 1957, is part of The Harvard Law School Cambridge Massachusetts. The project included the expansion and modification of the rectangular building’s stone-clad facades, as well as reconfiguration of its interior.

Skylight illuminating interior area of Lewis International Law Center
This facility is part Harvard Law School

The team stated that the center was now a “porous, open connector” at the heart the Law School campus.

The original building was designed in a modernist style by the Boston office of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott – the firm started in 1870s by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson.

Meeting room designed by Deborah Berke PartnersMeeting room designed by Deborah Berke Partners
Deborah Berke Partners renovated the building to add more meeting rooms

The 38,00-square foot (3,530-square metre) building was used as a library. It contained book stacks and a small amount administrative and classroom space.

New York-based Deborah Berke Partners He was asked to design an update for the centre that would meet its modern needs. This included more meeting rooms and other social spaces.

Open-plan kitchen island with terrazzo flooring underfootOpen-plan kitchen island with terrazzo flooring underfoot
Additionally, additional social spaces were created

The firm stated that the original modernist structure “was outmoded due to changing needs of libraries as well as law pedagogy,”

“The spatial requirements of law schools have changed as the teaching of law has moved to different modes of social interaction, instead of on the traditions passed down from generation to generation.”

The architects added a new level to the roof and a bulky volume to the west elevation in order create more space.

There are now four floors above and two below grade, totaling 50,500 square feet (or 4,692 square meters). A terrace is featured on the top floor.

Rectilinear Lewis International Law Center at Harvard UniversityRectilinear Lewis International Law Center at Harvard University
The team wrapped extensions in metal panels

The team cleaned up the original facades. limestone You can clad the extensions with metal panels or wrap them in a sheet of metal. Large expanses of glass allow in sunlight and give off a welcoming look.

The firm stated that the building’s previously opaque stone walls were removed carefully and selectively to let in light.

Carved wood-clad opening within interior of Harvard law centreCarved wood-clad opening within interior of Harvard law centre
The architects created openings in the building.

The studio said that metal and glass enhancements would complement the limestone structure and create a “tuned coherence” between old and new.

The team designed a more prominent front entrance for the western facade. It faces a busy thoroughfare. The team also made the eastern facade more welcoming, as it faces the campus.

Central lightwell in Lewis International Law CenterCentral lightwell in Lewis International Law Center
In the upper levels, there is a central lightwell.

The team reconfigured the layout of the facility and created openings such as a central area. lightwell The upper two levels.

“Several floors were removed in order to create interlocking spaces which foster collaboration, learning, and co-working,” said the team.

These multi-level openings allow natural sunlight to flow into core of building, and create new vertical adjacencies.

There are many spaces available for studying, socializing and learning. It also holds a dedicated “laboratory” for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society – a research centre focused on law and cyberspace.

Interior finishes oak Wall paneling terrazzo flooring. The building’s midcentury roots inspired furniture in purple, yellow and orange that helps to revive the ambience.

Colourful furniture within open-plan meeting space in Harvard buildingColourful furniture within open-plan meeting space in Harvard building
A “exuberantly exuberant” interior palette is used to offset the exterior geometry of the building.

The team explained that eclectic furniture and a vibrant interior colour palette set off the building’s elegant geometry and emphasize the sociability of its spaces.

The architects noted that much of the original building was saved — up to 80 per cent, based on their estimates. According to the studio, this resulted in a 40 percent reduction in embodied CO2 emissions when compared with the construction of a brand new building made from standard materials.

In all, the design reused the bones of the original structure to extraordinary effect – including the concrete foundation, steel-framed structure and stone envelope,” the team said.

Studio added that it was more than just updating an old structure. It was about creating a facility that “holistically addresses today’s social dynamics of law education”.

Deborah Berke, an architect, is the Yale School of Architecture’s dean. She founded her studio in 1982.

Projects of the firm include: renovation and expansion of Victorian-era townhouses University of Pennsylvania. conversion of a late 19th-century mental asylum into a boutique hotel.

Photography by Chris Cooper.

Credits for projects:

Interior designer and architect: Deborah Berke Partners
Design team Ameet Hiremath (project leader), Caroline Wharton Ewing [interior design lead], Deborah Berke (collaborating Partner), Brendan Lee (“project manager”), Elizabeth Chadkin (“project Manager, interior design”)
Representatives of the owners and project management CSL Consulting
Consultant for envelope and structural engineering: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
MEP/FP engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber
Sustainability consultant Atelier Ten
Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Civil engineer: Nitsch Engineering
Consulting in Geotechnical Engineering Haley & Aldrich
Lighting designer: One Lux
IT, AV, and Security Consultant: Cerami
Code consultant R.W. Sullivan
Signage designer: AFreeman

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