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Collaborative Learning Space


The nation's oldest anthropology library undergoes a LEED Gold transformation

Tozzer Anthropology Library

The nation's oldest anthropology library, Tozzer Anthropology Building at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., was recently transformed into a collaborative learning space. Opened in June 2015, the $12 million project included a complete renovation of the existing 24,800-square-foot building and a two-story, 10,000-square-foot addition.

Boston-based Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA) worked closely with the university and general contractor Consigli Construction Co. Inc., Boston, to meet the project's goals, schedule and budget. Design challenges included transforming the building into a space that would allow students and staff from both sub-disciplines to work and learn alongside each other; creating a more collaborative space to support the library's changing role from traditional book storage to an environment that supports combined learning from multiple disciplines; and keeping the renovation within the existing 1971 structural footprint.

For the project, Wausau, Wis.-based Wausau Window and Wall Systems' custom-engineered windows and curtainwall are set in a staggered pattern throughout the brick-and-copper-clad exterior, and installed as a sloped system to create a naturally illuminated interior light well.

Based on Wausau's popular INvision unitized curtainwall, a custom-engineered, four-side, silicone-glazed window wall system was developed for the project. "The exterior glass face projected outward from the façade by 4 to 7 inches, creating a unique visual texture, but presenting design challenges in maintaining long-term weatherability," explains Steve Fronek, vice president of technical services at Wausau. "At these critical wall interface locations, Wausau designed a custom perimeter receptor system to accept extruded silicone membranes."

Wausau's factory-glazed curtainwall units use insulating or insulating laminated glass with VE1-2M spectrally selective low-E coatings from Viracon Inc., Owatonna, Minn., to balance light, thermal and acoustic comfort for each level and elevation. Blending seamlessly with the four-side, silicone-glazed aesthetic, Wausau's 4250-Z zero sightline awning vent windows provide seasonal opportunities for natural ventilation.

The LEED Gold-certified project features natural light and views, and recycled and durable materials. Wausau's curtainwall and window systems' extruded aluminum frames contain recycled content averaging 70 percent or greater, while high-performance architectural finishes contribute to its durability and low maintenance. Linetec finished the aluminum framing using a Class 1 clear anodize on the interior and a three-coat 70 percent PVDF resin-based coating for the exterior, in Café Noir Pearl.

The copper-clad mansard roofing drapes the top floors of the building and caps the traditional red "Harvard brick" façade. Gilbert & Becker Co. Inc., Dorchester, Mass., used 20-ounce copper from Revere Copper Products, Rome, N.Y., for the roof for its durability, malleability and workability. The project uses double-lock, standing seam copper panels on the third and fourth floor vertical walls and mansard roof. For the upper flat roof, flat lock panels were used.

On the third and fourth floors, the vertical seams of the standing seam panels line up with the thirdfloor windows. The copper panels on the fourth floor were installed first with particular attention paid to details to ensure all panels would line up when the third floor was installed at a later date.

Another design element had the seams line up at the hips where two different pitched roofs came together, resulting in custom panel widths to achieve the desired look. The copper panels are built over a highly insulated thermal enclosure for the roof, with waterproofing incorporated into the design. Additionally, the contractor installed gutter troughs, through-wall flashings, parapets, copings and copper snow guards.

Tozzer Anthropology Building, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2015 North American Copper in Architecture Award; Boston Society of Architects' 2015 Honor Awards for Design Excellence
Owner: Harvard University, Cambridge
Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA), Boston,
General contractor: Consigli Construction Co. Inc., Boston,
Envelope consultant/MEP engineer: BuroHappold Consulting Engineers, Boston,
Glazing contractor: Salem Glass Co., Salem, Mass.,
Sheet metal contractor: Gilbert & Becker Co. Inc., Dorchester, Mass.,
Glazing systems finisher: Linetec, Wausau,
Copper: Revere Copper Products, Rome, N.Y.,
Glass fabricator: Viracon Inc., Owatonna, Minn.,
Glazing systems: Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Wausau, Wis.,