Overlooking the Charles River and within a public park for the City of Cambridge, Harvard University’s underground parking garage exhaust vent shaft penetrates the site, requiring a redesign of the shaft’s exterior envelope and the integration of a pergola structure. The “movement” of the river and the “canopy” of the trees along Memorial Drive are reflected in the design concept and detailing as the wood, steel, and cable truss canopy “frames” views of the Charles River. The wood clad pergola structure provides shaded seating and community gathering spaces which support the adjacent park.
The planning process was challenging to address all of the different organizations needs and desires. We worked closely with the City of Cambridge, Harvard University, and numerous neighborhood groups. We worked through many iterations with our landscape architect and project team to creatively enhance the potentially adverse impact of the concrete headhouse core.