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Renzo Piano - Harvard Art Museum Addition

The glass-roofed addition to the Harvard Art Museum, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was designed by Renzo Piano. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The renovation and expansion of a 1927 Harvard Art Museum building at 32 Quincy Street continues in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Designed by Renzo Piano, the facility will bring three Harvard museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time.

Begun in June 2008, the project has included demolition of older additions to the 1927 building and extensive excavation to make room for the construction of additional galleries and other space–a total of 100,000 square feet (9,300 square meters) in all.

Inside one of the studios of the new Harvard museum building. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The new facility, which will total 204,000 square feet (19,000 square meters) upon completion, is now weathertight. Work has begun on the build-out and finishing of interior spaces, which are expected to be completed this fall. Conditioning of the facility and installation of the collections will take place in 2014.

The Harvard addition is attached to a 1927 Beaux Arts building. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The exterior walls of the new space, and the steel-and-glass rooftop that spans the facility, were finished in December. The expansion will also create new spaces to support activities including teaching, research, training, and presentation.

The design also engages with the adjacent Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts—the only building in the United States designed by Le Corbusier—both with windows providing new sight lines to the building and by the extension of Corbusier's ramp to intersect with the museum's new Prescott-street entrance.

A model view of the restored courtyard of the existing. Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

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