Happy Days in Pfoho

If the cold and dreary weather has you feeling down, you should check out the recently opened “Happy Room,” the beach-themed break room in the basement of Pforzheimer House.  Christine S. Woodward, a Pforzheimer House tutor and a California native, said she designed the room as a place for students to escape from the cold Cambridge weather.

“[The weather] really has an effect on people, and I don’t think that people are aware of that,” Woodward said.  “It weighs on people, and people don’t understand how much not getting out can affect them and their happiness.”

The walls of the room are decorated with jumbo-sized murals of seaside scenes. Multi-colored paper lights hang from the ceiling, and plastic beach and bean-bag chairs furnish the space. Although the room opened this past Saturday, Woodward said it is still a work in progress.  She has a number of other improvements planned for the future, such as adding a sound machine to simulate the sound of waves.

Woodward, an architect and engineer designer by trade, said that she had no specific reason for choosing the room’s beach theme.

“I don’t really know why the beach,” she said, “but the beach makes me happy.”

The creation of the “Happy Room” is part of a larger initiative to revitalize the Pfoho basement.  Other proposed projects include allowing student artists to paint the basement’s walls and the creation of a room specifically for young children living in the Quad.

While the room is relatively small in size, Woodward assures us that it’s worth the trip. “You get a better experience when you see it for yourself,” she said.

Photo by Xi Yu/The Harvard Crimson.

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