Plaza at Harvard
Ms. Braasch worked as the associate project manager on the Plaza while an associate at Stoss. For more information click here to visit the Stoss website.
The Plaza is a new gathering space for the University and local communities. It sits atop a vehicular tunnel, adjacent to Harvard’s historic Yard.
The strategy articulates the space atop the tunnel as a new kind of public infrastructure, an active threshold between the Yard and the North Campus. A distinct paver field extends across the tunnel cap, and is intermittently interrupted by clusters of sculptural benches. The benches accommodate people’s bodies in various ways, and aggregate differently — allowing for a broad range of sitting and gathering situations: alone or in groups, in sun or full shade, lounging or sitting properly. The plaza is flexible and can host events of many sizes, including performances, movies, skating rinks, and art installations.
Sustainability is central, but is considered in multiple ways. Recycled materials, stormwater infiltration, and an education program reinforce the University’s sustainability mission.
During the design process, series of interim programs were initiated in order to both build momentum and increase publicity for the project while simultaneously cultivating a civic audience for the future plaza.
Photo courtesy of Stoss Landscape Urbanism