Harvard’s Three Art Museums Will Open Under One Renzo Piano-Designed Glass Roof in 2014

When Harvard University returns to session in the fall of 2014, the big man on campus will be serial museum architect Renzo Piano, whose expansion of the Harvard Art Museums (HAM) — which consist of the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum — is scheduled to open that semester, its most eye-catching feature a glassy rooftop addition to 32 Quincy Street, the landmarked Cambridge building that currently houses HAM’s Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums.

The dramatic expansion will bring all three of the HAM’s institutions into the same building for the first time. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which to date has remained open in a different building at 485 Broadway, will close on June 1 of this year in preparation for moving in with the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums. The expansion will double the HAM’s space, with renovated exhibition gallery interiors designed by wHY Architecture.

“The arts play a vital role in the academic and intellectual life of Harvard University, not only for those studying the visual arts, but across all departments and disciplines,” Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust said in a statement. “The transformation of the Harvard Art Museums will allow more opportunities for students, scholars, and the public to engage with the magnificent collections held by the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums.”

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop.)