Home Sweet Pforzheimer House

A strategic intervention promotes collegiality and supports Pforzheimer House traditions

Harvard University Radcliffe Quadrangle

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

This project included the renovation and new construction of nine residential halls on the Radcliffe Quadrangle. The challenge was to unify Pforzheimer and Cabot Houses internally and externally, spatially and functionally, providing each house with the public space and collaborative suite living that contributes so much to Harvard’s residential life. The existing buildings consisted of typical double-loaded corridors with single and double rooms with shared toilet facilities. Reconfiguration of the Houses allowed contemporary suite-style units to be integrated into the unique conditions of each building.

Thumbnail and final photo credit: Bostonian13 / CC BY-SA (

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Renovation, Addition
Lobby + Gathering Spaces, Student Rooms, Dining Halls, Food Service Facility, Common Areas
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The project was completed in three years through phased construction, minimizing disruption during the academic year.

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Finegold Alexander first prepared a master plan for the Quadrangle complex that defined two houses - of 350 students each - for the Harvard College residential system.

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The Pforzheimer House dining hall is a dramatic double height, bright open space carved out of the existing building by removing the first floor.