The new Film and Video Headquarters at Harvard creates a cross disciplinary teaching environment for artists, scholars and critics working in comparative literature, cultural studies, film and digital media. The project integrates architectural space and information technology to unify the VES Department’s media resources and encourage collaboration between film production and film criticism.

The design site was constrained to the existing volume of attic space within Sever Hall in Harvard Yard. The renovation and new construction program included film screening rooms, projection booths, film animation studios, editing rooms, faculty offices, seminar rooms, the department’s film and video library, public gallery spaces, and digital display and information technology network packages.

The project is based on the design of a public gallery which functions both as circulation and as viewing space for public screenings of faculty and student work. Since the roof of Sever Hall could not be changed, the design borrows daylight in section from adjacent roof dormers. The invention of a “cinematic” skylight and metal mesh curtain screen connected to an exterior photo cell allows energy efficient LEDs to create a changing daylight ambiance as natural light levels change outside.

Date: 2006
Status: Completed
Client: Harvard University
Location: Cambridge, MA
Design Team:
Frano Violich, FAIA; Managing Principal
Sheila Kennedy, FAIA; Principal Consulting on Design
Veit Kugel Dipl Ing, Soo Jin Yoo LEED AP, Danny Chan, Richard Hollington
Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd
Acoustic Consultant: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc
AV Consultant: Ascentech AV, Inc
IT/Lighting Consultant: Color Kinetics, Inc & LA Theatrics, Inc
MEPFP Engineer: The Collaborative Engineers, Inc
Structural Engineer: Richmond So Engineering, Inc

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Film & Video Headquarters