Harvard Dorms, The Sert Sequel
The new graduate student housing dorm has opened at Harvard. As a friend of ours put it: "I'd be stoked to live in that dorm". We would too! The dorm is by Kyu Sung Woo Architects. Woo studied and worked with Jose Luis Sert, whose iconic Peabody Terrace Housing is next to the new building. The new building does a lot to mitigate the sometimes harshness of Sert's buildings: Woo frames the courtyard entrances to the existing housing, and cantilevers the major masses to preserve sight lines for the community. More importantly, his buildings are rich in warm materials: wood ceilings and walls outdoors, well-detailed masonry above, in deep contrast to Sert's austere concrete and painted metal. Woo wisely continues Sert's tastes for highly patterned, textured building envelopes. What's best is that the old and new begin to work together as a city, probably as Sert originally intended, but in a way that is very livable. So stoked.
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