Following six months of construction, we are happy to report that the Harvard Real Estate project at the Harvard Memorial Church is reaching completion. We began work on this project in January 2016.
Initially conceived as a project to provide year-round climate control to the sanctuary, the scope evolved to include expanded accessibility accommodations and reinvented the lower level of the Church as a destination for those seeking a moment’s respite during the day. This new lower level will provide offices for Church staff and teaching/meeting spaces for the University, but most importantly it includes social/study space that finds the intersection between library and coffee house. We call this the Student Oasis and it is intended to be inviting to the entire Harvard community regardless of religious affiliation or belief. The Oasis is to be a venue where individuals can decompress and interact with one another as well as the church staff. Coupled with adjacent function rooms, the Oasis will also be adaptable for Church School on Sundays and support during special events such as weddings.
While much of our work focused on the interior of the building, the scope of the project also included excavating along the North façade to allow for ADA upgrades to the exterior of the building including an accessible ramp and sloped walkways.
It was important to match the replaced North façade with the existing 1932 which is unique in color and texture. We explored several brick mock-ups before finding the correct blend of brick, mortar color and depth of mortar joint required. As we worked through brick options, I joined our lead mason from Phoenix Bay State to create a mock-up. Working side-by-side we were able to assemble our final mock-up, which reflects what you are able to see today.
The building reopened for services at the start of the spring term and we’re excited for the remainder of the spaces to reopen to the campus community.
Slideshow: Memorial Church Celebrates New Student Oasis
Memorial Church’s Modest Makeover
At Harvard, The Memorial Church Upgrades Building Controls
Memorial Church Re-Opens With Fanfare