As part of the University’s Allston expansion, our office was commissioned to design the new Harvard Ceramics Studio and Gallery, located in the heart of Barry’s Corner due to its prominence along the Western Avenue thoroughfare. As an adaptive re-use of a former vehicle repair facility, the entire structure had to change.
To bridge the identity of the oldest university in the country (150 years older than the united States) from Cambridge to Boston
In proportion, material, and levels of transparency this building expresses Harvard’s connection to the arts. A ceramics department housed in a building made from Terra Cotta panels creates an update on Colin Rowe’s idea of phenomenal transparency. Cor-Ten panels are set in a running bond to emulate campus brick, yet make clear this building is considered hand built, and again reference the craft that occurs within. Generous amounts of glass fill studios with light, and invite the public directly into the gallery from the sidewalk. Skylights flood deep floor plates with light, allowing the building to feel warmth in the cold winter months. The kiln room has large glass overhead doors to allow cool air in when the room hits 110 degrees during periods of kiln firing.