The newly renovated Lowell House made its much-anticipated debut last week after two years of work that blended its historic character and love of tradition with a commitment to meet the needs of a new generation of students.
Faculty Deans Nina Zipser, dean for faculty affairs and planning, and David Laibson, Robert I. Godman Professor of Economics, moved into their new residence this summer after officially starting their terms on July 1. They gave the project high marks.
“The renewal team did a remarkable job preserving the building’s original design and character,” said Zipser, noting that the dining hall, named Lee Hall in recognition of Kewsong Lee ’86, M.B.A. ’90, and Zita Ezpeleta ’88, J.D. ’91, and the F.A. Hayek Junior Common Room have long been popular Lowell meeting places. “The primary role of the House is as a gathering space and a home for all of us, and I love that there are so many modes of being together in the House.”
Architecture firm Kieran Timberlake designed new common spaces, reconfigured residential areas, and transformed the two basement levels from utility and storage spaces into areas for student use, all with a focus on sustainability and accessibility. Lowell’s buildings and courtyards received extensive electrical, mechanical, and structural upgrades, including the restoration of the House’s 56 chimneys and energy-efficient upgrades to 1,100 windows.
“House renewal is such an interesting way to re-engage Harvard’s traditions and culture,” said Edgerley Family Dean of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay. “Walking through its courtyards and hallways, this is unmistakably Lowell House in all its particularity, but now the House is equipped to gracefully meet the needs of a new generation of students.”