Harvard University
667d973b285d864342409aec Harvard Theater Edited

Construction begins on new home for Harvard University's American Repertory Theater

June 27, 2024
The theater facility is part of Harvard's expansion into the Allston neighborhood of Boston.

Construction has begun in the Allston neighborhood of Boston on a new home for the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.

The university says the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Creativity & Performance will contain interconnected, adaptable multiuse spaces designed to support creativity and embrace future change. It will have two flexible performance venues — the West Stage, where large-scale productions will be produced, and an intimate East Stage.

In addition, the center will house light-filled rehearsal studios and teaching spaces, a spacious public lobby, and an outdoor performance yard to host ticketed and free programming. The facility will also have dressing rooms, technical shops, a café, and administrative offices.

The existing home of the repertory theater is in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The facilities design incorporates a blend of environmental and social strategies to minimize embodied and operational carbon, maximize well-being, boost biodiversity, and enhance resiliency.

The building is designed to achieve the Living Building Challenge core accreditation from the International Living Future Institute in recognition that it will give more to its environment than it takes. It will be constructed with laminate mass timber, reclaimed brick, and cedar cladding to minimize its lifetime carbon budget.

The building’s chilled water, hot water, and electric utilities will come from Harvard’s new lower-carbon District Energy Facility. It will capture additional clean energy from rooftop solar panels and leverage natural ventilation to reduce energy usage and enhance occupant comfort. A green roof and extensive plantings will aid stormwater attenuation and increase biodiversity and occupant well-being. 

The architects are Haworth Tompkins and ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge, and the construction manager is Shawmut Design and Construction.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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