The design proposal for the Harvard Inn occrred in numerous stages. The first stage was primarily an analytical investigation, which was not intended to culminate in a definitive design solution, but rather explore the range of possibilities available for the complex urban site and the multi-faceted program. The second design stage resulted in two different design proposals that embodied the aspirations of both the client and the program. Both options were pursued in an effort to investigate each scemes viabilty.
The design presents a bold, urban facade which faces Harvard Square, thereby spatially enclosing the square with building mass. We have accommodated a landscaped foreground to this facade, which acts as the natural extension of the main entrance.
Both designs incorporate a variety of roof shapes and profiles which, creating an articulated skyline, characteristic of Harvard architecture. Each scheme conforms to the strict Harvard Square Overlay District's requirements. The entire structure is contained within the building mass envelope created by maximum height restrictions, setbacks, and property lines. Special care has been taken to avoid any commercial connotation in the project while emphasizing a congenial and intimate ambiance. The Inn contains a very intimate, club-like library lounge in the third floor furnished with fireplace and with a flexible connection to the two meeting rooms which can function independently or as part of the Library itself. The lobby is modest and serves as a security checkpoint: all the communal rooms (a library, a lounge, the conference rooms and elevators) are accessible from the lobby.