Run and Gund

Herzog & de Meuron and Beyer Blinder Belle to expand Harvard GSD’s Gund Hall

Architecture East News Preservation
Harvard University's Gund Hall (Peter Vanderwarker/Harvard Graduate School of Design)
Harvard University's Gund Hall (Peter Vanderwarker/Harvard Graduate School of Design)

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced that Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have been selected to design a “transformative” expansion of Gund Hall, the GSD’s main building on the Harvard campus. New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) will serve as executive architect on the project.

Gund Hall, designed by Australia architect and GSD alumnus John Andrews, opened in 1972. The building has a distinct presence, as the brutalist hall’s exposed concrete, dramatic slope, and multi-story overhangs set it apart from the other buildings on Harvard’s campus.

The new expansion is expected to create an intersection for the administrative rooms, classrooms, studio space (called “the trays”), research library, and social gathering spaces currently within Gund Hall. In a statement, the GSD mentioned that the expansion will have a minimal footprint and won’t require reclaiming any of the campus’s greenspace. When the project is complete, it should completely reorganize the programmatic flow of Gund Hall and create a more space-efficient building.

The Trays, Gund Hall’s cascading studio space, follows the contours of the stepped building’s exterior. (Courtesy Harvard Graduate School of Design)

“The GSD’s groundbreaking collaborations with theoretical and applied disciplines, and other professional schools at Harvard, bring collective expertise to bear in addressing the most pressing social and environmental challenges of our time through design innovation,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, Harvard GSD, in a statement sent to AN. “Herzog & de Meuron and BBB have carefully studied and observed the School’s many qualities and characteristics, and they have a bold design vision for the GSD and its engagement with other disciplines and professional schools across Harvard, and for its impact on the world. We are excited to collaborate with both firms on the creation of an important and dynamic center for design innovation here at the GSD.”

Both Herzog & de Meuron and BBB have extensive histories with Harvard. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been teaching and conducting research projects with the school since the 1980’s, and BBB has completed several projects on the campus over the last 14 years. Their most recent work includes renovations to the historically sensitive Winthrop and Adams Houses.

No completion date or cost estimates have been released yet. AN will follow this story up once design details and renderings of the expansion are released.

Gund Hall at night. The building heavily alternates between glass and concrete. (Peter Vanderwarker/Harvard Graduate School of Design)

Related Stories