Harvard University

Smith Campus Center Renovation & Partial Façade Restoration

Project at a Glance

Cambridge, MA


Hopkins Architects & Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc.

Project Type


Project Overview

  • Repurposing and revitalization of the former Holyoke Center, an important mid-century Sert-designed structure, into the first campus center in Harvard’s history
  • Invasive construction in and around a fully operational building, housing Harvard’s executive-level departments and University Health Services (UHS)
  • Renovated Smith Campus Center will unify the Harvard campus and Harvard Square community

In an effort to anchor Harvard’s Cambridge campus, President Drew Faust’s vision for common spaces and “One Harvard” called for the major renovation and restoration of the Smith Campus Center, located in the heart of Harvard Square. The structure, originally built in two phases between 1961 and 1966 and designed by influential mid-century architect Josep Lluís Sert, is a ten-story H-shaped concrete building with two stories of below-grade parking, ground-level retail and 18 different Harvard administrative offices above. All building occupants will remain in-place during invasive interior and exterior construction.

The updated facility will serve as Harvard’s Welcome Center, and feature a compelling two-story glass enclosure at Forbes Plaza, creating a signature “front door” to the building. Interior updates will include significant renovations to the first floor Arcade and Mezzanine levels, which will offer diverse University dining options, common spaces for clubs, social gatherings and student collaboration and technological capabilities for movie screenings and multimedia presentations. Sustainable features include interior green wall landscaping and three roof gardens on the Holyoke Pavilion, Dunster Pavilion and the 10th floor, which will also house a restaurant and additional common spaces. Finally, Consigli will renovate the Harvard’s University Health Services (UHS) to expand and improve services to its student population. This project is targeting LEED Gold certification.