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Graduate School of Design Selects Architects for Expansion Plans

The Graduate School of Design has selected two firms to spearhead the expansion of its main campus building, Gund Hall, the school announced last month.

The school picked firms Herzog & de Meuron and Beyer Blinder Belle to design the expansion. Plans for the design are projected to be finished in early fall.

Gund Hall, a building with studio and office space for around 500 students and 100 faculty and staff, opened in 1972. The hall contains classrooms, workshops, darkrooms, as well as a library and auditorium.

According to a press release from Herzog & de Meuron, the goal of the expansion is to transform Gund Hall into a “twenty-first century hub of design innovation.” The suggested design links the hall’s front facade to the GSD’s backyard, introducing a new entry on Quincy St. and improving accessibility in and around the building.

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Mohsen Mostafavi, the Dean of the Graduate School of Design, wrote in an emailed statement both firms have “important institutional experience.” 

He wrote that Beyer Blinder Belle’s work at Harvard spans over 14 years, and he referred to the firm’s work on the Winthrop and Adams House renewals. Motafavi also wrote that Herzog & de Meuron founders Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have contributed to the school in various ways over the past three decades, teaching classes and presenting exhibitions.

“They are very familiar with the evolution of the School, and are in touch with the ways in which the unique architecture of Gund Hall feeds into the School's culture,” Mostafavi wrote.

Elizabeth R. Leber, partner at Beyer Blinder Belle, wrote in an email statement the firm was “delighted” to be working on the project.

“Gund Hall looms large in the memory of so many who have passed through — and spent a lot of time in — the building,” she wrote. “It’s a project that presents many exciting opportunities and we are honored that the GSD has chosen to partner with our team.”

In the press release, Herzog and Meuron said they hope to “transform” the building.

“We have always admired the intellectual spirit and free-thinking atmosphere of the school with its mythic Gund Hall building, and can now transform this building by excavating, adding, and connecting spaces that will support communication and exchange within the GSD community,” they said.

—Staff writer Truelian Lee can be reached at truelian.lee@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @truelian_lee.

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