Campus & Community

Dunster House renewed

3 min read

Commitment to sustainability, common spaces delight student residents

Shivangi Parmar ’17 thinks life in newly renovated Dunster House is “fantastic.”

The plethora of common rooms, lounging areas, the student grill, and conference rooms “collectively provide students with opportunities to interact with their friends while offering them plenty of spaces to work privately,” she said. “Not to mention the renovation is absolutely beautiful and new visitors to the House are always pleasantly surprised!”

Dunster House is the first House to be completely renewed, informed by test projects that transformed Stone Hall at Quincy House and McKinlock Hall at Leverett House. With wonderful discoveries at every turn — a merger of the modern and the historical — perhaps the greatest revelation found beneath the surface in Dunster House is the commitment to sustainability coupled with community-minded design.

After living in the updated Dunster for a semester, students continue to be delighted by its offerings. “I feel so incredibly lucky to be in Dunster for the next few years,” said Spencer Kiehm ’18. “Whether I want to spend some time exercising in the weight room, studying with my friends in one of the common spaces, or hanging out and playing pool, there is always a beautiful space in the new house to do whatever I want.”

“I’m grateful for the tremendous job that the project managers have done and look forward to seeing their upcoming makeover of Winthrop House,” echoed Kevin Chen ’17.

Dunster House and the Weeks Bridge seen from the Mather House tower. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Roommates Kevin Chen ’17 (left) and Ayomide Opeyemi ’17 greet tour groups in the building manager’s office inside Dunster House. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Sally Gee ’16 locks up her bike on new bike racks outside of Dunster House. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Isabella Diaz, daughter of resident dean Carlos Diaz and his wife, Martha Diaz, a teaching assistant in romance languages and literatures, drives her toy electric car past a sundial in Dunster House courtyard. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Kulbir Parmar (right) helps his daughter Shivangi Parmar ’17 during move-in day at Dunster House. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
Elena Breer ’18 enjoys the Harvard Library study room in the newly renovated Dunster House. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Spencer Kiehm ’18, a member of the wrestling team, works out in a Dunster House gym. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Kevin Chen ’17 (pink shirt), Ayomide Opeyemi ’17, and their roommates decorate their room with flags of Mexico and the United States. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Dunster House dining hall operates in full swing during lunch service. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
On move-in day, students marvel at the sight of a new squash court with a basketball hoop inside Dunster House. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
A Dunster House roof shield with bird motifs glows gold in the sunset. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Students use social media on swinging chairs in the Dunster House courtyard. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
A view of Dunster House from the Charles River. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer