Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

A 15-year strategic plan for the expansion of the Harvard Graduate School of Design re-imagined its role as a leader in design research and education.

perspective section of the Harvard GSD

The project encompassed three focus areas: long-term visioning, programming and development strategy; short term expansion planning; and, the reinvention of the Loeb Library as a cross-disciplinary learning and research center. The overarching goal was to respond to new scales, technologies, and design thinking in the 21st century.

five main programming uses for the Harvard GSD
circle diagram of spatial use over a day at the Harvard GSD
Diagram evaluating the use of existing spaces over a 24-hour period.

We worked closely with the school’s administration, staff, faculty and students to articulate a forward-looking mission statement for the school’s long-term expansion. With support from Harvard University Planning, we evaluated ten potential development sites before creating concept drawings and overseeing cost estimating for the selected site.

programming diagram of all sites and user groups of the Harvard GSD

As a follow up to their 5-year and 15-year strategic planning studies, the GSD commissioned ARO to rethink and reinvent Loeb Library, a 25,000+ SF preeminent design resource library located at the center of Gund Hall.

flexible plan studies of the Loeb library