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Six hundred graduate students will make the Graduate Center their home in September unless construction suffers a serios unforeseen set-setback, term end reports predict.
The Jarvis Field Center, on the site of Harvards first intercollegiate football game, will include seven dormitories for Graduate School and Law students and dining accommodations for 1,000, as well as meeting rooms and recreational facilities in a large commons ball.
Existing graduate dormitories, Hastings, Divinity, Andover, Conant, and Perkins Halls, presently housing 450 students, are being completely refurnished for integration with the addition.
Three-Way Money Supply
Capital of $3,000,000 for the project comes from three sources. The Harvard Corporation offered $1,000,000 for a commons hall in addition to land and maintenance for the entire project. This offer was conditional on the success of the campaigns by the Law School Fund and the Foundation for Advanced Study and Research, a year-old amalgamation of the funds of the Graduate, Public Administration, Design, and Education Schools.
Walter Gropius, professor of Architecture in the School of Design, prepared the drawings for the center with his firm, The Architects Collaborative, architects for the project.
"Functional" Approach Cheaper
In designing the Center, the architects used simplicity, utility, and maximum comfort as the basis for their plans. The "functional" approach to design associated with Gropius in international architectural circles was effectively employed to bring needs and costs together.
As a preliminary step in the planning, two groups of third-year students in architecture made studies of the problem of housing graduate students within the limits of current building costs.
The solution offered by one of these groups in 1947 proved a suggestive beginning for Gropius' later work on drawings.
The $1,000,000 commons hall will be the core of the Graduate Center. Its recreation, meeting, lounge, and dining rooms will provide adequate facilities for graduate student activities, vastly expanded since the war.
Lounging facilities, 10 feet high, 160 feet long, and in all 40 feet wide, will occupy the first floor of the commons hall. Above the lounge a large cafeteria will seat 620 men at one time. Both lounge and dining hall will look out on the new Jarvis Field courtyard through glass window-walls.
Dormitory buildings will be connected to the commons by covered passages. One group of these buildings will be occupied solely by students at the Law School.
Since a central purpose of the development is to encourage the formation of extra-curricular social, recreational, and discussion groups among graduate students, it will have a large number of small meeting rooms in the dormitories and along the principal passageways connecting them to the central building.
In addition, the main dining room lounge will be arranged so that they can be divided by curtains into smaller meeting or dining rooms.
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