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Harvard landscape architect Robert Bowden has designed a new landscape for the campus, with greenways that connect to downtown and the Charles River. Bowden’s project is the latest addition to the campus’s ongoing and extensive effort to preserve and enhance the Charles River Reservation. To read more about the new landscape, and how it benefits the area, click here.
The Landscape Team of the Charles River Reservation
The new landscape design represents a dramatic transformation of the Charles River Reservation. The landscape work represents another part of the University’s ongoing efforts to preserve and enhance the Charles River Reservation. Below, meet the landscape team responsible for designing this magnificent new campus landscape.
Robert Bowden, Landscape Architect and Founder of Greenbelt Landscape Architects
Bowden, along with his firm Greenbelt Landscape Architects, are the landscape architects responsible for the design. Bowden’s work includes projects on the National Mall in Washington D.C., The National Arboretum in Washington D.C. and the National Mall and West Potomac Park.
The landscape team is led by William S. Waring, who was recently appointed Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Cambridge.
Waring, along with Bowden, designed the new landscape, which connects two of the University’s main green spaces: the Harvard Yard and the new Charles River Reservation, along the Charles River in Boston. As Waring wrote in an email to students, “this new landscape represents the University’s continued commitment to connect our campuses through vibrant greenways.”
The new landscape design builds upon the past landscape work of the Charles River Reservation.
An example of the previous landscape design, which featured the traditional brick-and-stone buildings, came in the spring of 2014 when the University announced the Charles River Reservation’s $5.5 million, 11,000-square-foot renovation.
At the time, President Drew G. Faust said that the redesigned Charles River Reservation “will be the ideal location to foster greater interaction among students, faculty and staff, and with the broader public.”
The Charles River Reservation renovation includes a large open space, as well as the creation of a new bridge to span the river. The new bridge is intended to connect the Charles River Reservation to the Harvard Yard.
The renovation work will create a large open space, allowing students, faculty and staff to move easily between the two green spaces.
The renovation will also feature a new, 10,000-square-foot building that houses an administrative center, fitness center, and art gallery.
“We knew we needed a new home,” said David Deutsch, the director of the Harvard Athletic Association. “This new building is great, and so is the area we have chosen.”
Deutsch, who has been involved with campus athletics since the early 1980s, said that the design and location of the new building is “very much in line” with the Charles River Reservation.
“It is right in the middle of the area we have been working on,” said Deutsch.
The new building will include a dining area, a kitchen, a lounge, classrooms, a fitness center, a locker room, a conference room, and a new sports administrative center.
The new building also includes an art gallery that will exhibit the work of artists in the area. The gallery will also be used to showcase athletic programs, including the Crimson Squash team and the Harvard fencing club.
According to Deutsch, the new building will also have a connection to the Charles River Reservation.
“As an added benefit, the athletic building will have a connection to the Charles River Reservation, allowing a link to Boston’s waterfront area,” said Deutsch.
Deutsch said that the $32 million project is being funded by the Harvard Athletic Association, and he said that the “welcome addition to campus will benefit the entire Harvard community.”
The renovations to the current Athletic Association building will begin next year.
The new building is expected to be completed in 2018.
—Staff writer Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected]
—Staff writer Lindsay Drager can be reached at [email protected]