Harvard University, Biology and Chemistry Building

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Harvard University, Biology and Chemistry Building

Courtyard Perspective

Drawings   79  browse all »

Elevation, Present Converse Laboratory
HVAC Preliminary Drawings
West Elevation of Wing Portion

Correspondence   64  browse all »

Harvard University, Department of Buildings and Grounds

Breuer and his partner Robert Gatje based the plan of their unbuilt design for Harvard’s new Biology-Chemistry Building on their innovative design for the Chemistry Building at Brookhaven National Laboratory. At Harvard, as at Brookhaven, laboratories were windowless, open-plan spaces that took advantage of natural light from office windows located on the other side of a glass-walled access corridor. The Harvard complex consisted of two rectangular volumes – one for biology and one for chemistry – set perpendicular to each other at the outermost edges of the site and connected by basement tunnels and a bridge, featuring an eyebrow window like those gracing the façade of the Whitney Museum. This arrangement allowed part of the site to be given over to a brick-paved plaza and outdoor dining terrace. Only one of the buildings was raised on rectangular pilotis, but both utilized Breuer’s modular concrete panel vocabulary of the 1960s and 1970s. The load-bearing panels incorporated mechanical services and sun protection for the deeply recessed windows. The complex also included a substantial underground parking structure.