This project reuses and adds to a vacant 1960’s library in the old medical school quad, transforming it into a vibrant administrative and social center for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, undergraduate departments and a hub for the new north campus. Located at the heart of 1960s medical buildings on the school’s siloed north campus, over time the area transformed into a center for undergraduate sciences, graduate administration as well as for medicine. The new diversity of the area required a new social hub for student gathering with access to food and inside and outside social spaces. The 32,995sf Anonymous Hall project — as well as new entrances for its surrounding buildings, a wide pedestrian bridge, and new circulation between buildings and a south facing arcade — transformed the college’s least compelling area into a well-scaled, inviting destination for a much larger student population. This expanded project generates an accessible, seamless link between north campus and the iconic green and main campus. The demolition of an unused laboratory adjacent to Anonymous Hall made way for its new addition that faces a new open landscape. The area is transformed from confusing and somewhat inaccessible collection of buildings to become a series of outside spaces defined by buildings and pathways that invite connections to the iconic Green and historic campus to the south. The first floor of the addition houses the building’s lobby and a café, with an adjacent terrace overlooking a green. The original building holds classrooms and administration offices and a connection to the north quad. The old medical library’s compact size allows for a ring of offices and classrooms on the upper floors with the south addition housing the more social spaces for meetings and student gathering. This glazed double height space is tied together by a spiral object stair, visible from the approach and the south lawn. The penthouse level features a solar-paneled canopy and a south-facing planted terrace that overlooks the iconic main campus. The graduate student lounge in the walkout basement opens to a protected courtyard below a pedestrian bridge. Existing hazardous materials in Anonymous Hall required removing much of the structure and enclosure down to its concrete columns and slabs before construction could begin. Today, the sandblasted concrete columns reveal the original structure now supporting a high tech envelope. As a reused structure in a cold climate, the choices of high R value terra-cotta-clad walls, solar panel canopy triple-glazed windows, and south-facing glass with an expanded metal interlayer to limit summer sun — along with reusing the existing concrete structure — create a building with a low embodied energy that approaches net zero energy use.
Leers Weinzapfel Associates is a practice recognized for its exceptional quality of design for the public realm in urban and campus contexts. The group’s special strength is a “mission impossible” ability to meet extraordinarily difficult building challenges with uncommon design clarity, elegance, and refinement. We are committed to providing meaningful spaces for human interaction and to promoting social well-being. Our work is diverse, including technically demanding infrastructure installations, advanced learning and living environments for educational institutions, to civic buildings and community recreation centers. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects honored us with the Firm Award, the highest distinction the AIA bestows on an architecture practice, the first and only woman-owned firm to be so honored. ARCHITECT Magazine has included the firm on its list of Top 50 architecture firms in the country, for the past five years in a row.