Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street
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Harvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeProject Name: Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street
Year: 2004
Owner: The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 10000 sq.ft.
Slope: 1.5%
Access: Accessible, Private
Submitted by: Ed Snodgrass

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Greenroofing System: American Hydrotech
Plant Supplier: Green Roof Plants/Emory Knoll Farms
Plant Installation: Valley Crest
Architect: Jonathan Levi Architects
Associate Architect: Bergmeyer Associates
Landscape Architect: Richard Burck Associates
General Contractor: Bond Brothers
Hydrotech Applicators: Chapman Waterproofing and Foye & Letendre Landscaping
Environmental Engineer: Pine and Swallow Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Weidlinger Associates Inc.
Harvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeHarvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeHarvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen Lee
Built in the 1920's, renovated in 2003 with the greenroof added in 2004, 29 Garden Street was redesigned to support graduate student needs; this six-story complex contains 75 apartments. Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street in Cambridge, MA clearly demonstrates adaptive reuse - the former police station was transformed into a new residence hall. And to revitalize the pedestrian environment at street level, landscape architecure firm Richard Burck Associates introduced shade tree plantings and new sidewalks. The award-winning second-floor greenroof was built atop the previously barren roof of the existing parking garage. Now, the garden courtyard provides a beautiful outdoor amenity space for residents and has made this housing building one of the most popular places to live on campus. The open-air courtyard and spacious common areas create a community feeling at this complex.

The American Hydrotech project profile (see below) states, "When representatives from Jonathan Levi Architects made their initial site visit to Harvard 29 Garden Street (an 80-year-old, nondescript building they were commissioned to redesign into housing for 143 students), one of the first items identified for change was an unattractive blacktopped roof over a one-story parking garage.

"Because all of the building's units looked out onto this roof, the architect proposed to capture this space aesthetically. And they have. The once unsightly rooftop is now a 10,000 square foot Garden Roof? providing pleasing views and helping to add a sense of place and community for the graduate student residents there. The Garden Roof will significantly increase the life expectancy of the roof and is also helping to control stormwater runoff.
The newly planted Harvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photo from American HydrotechThe newly planted Harvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photo from American Hydrotech
"The Garden Roof Assembly from American Hydrotech allowed the rooftop garden to seamlessly blend into the building - creating an extensive green roof system with an average 4-inch-deep soil mix and low-growing hardy plants. The building's Garden Roof consists of a multilayered waterproofing membrane - MM6125?-EV, a hot fluid-applied, completely monolithic membrane bonded directly to the substrate. A decided advantage of this system is being able to combine hardscape and softscape while maintaining proper drainage at the deck level and moisture retention just below the soil.

"The ability to provide a single source warranty for the entire assembly was a deciding factor in vendor selection. The Rooftop plantings include a mix of succulents, sedums and delosperma, drought tolerant varieties that can take Boston's high day-night temperature fluctuations. Now after a long day in class, students can just sit back and enjoy the view."

Additional thumbnail photos:

Harvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeHarvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street) - final installation of the roof garden courtyard looking towards the east from the point of view of an upper level unit; Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeHarvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeHarvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street) - looking west down the main path with the stairways leading up to the third level apartments in the foreground and the stair leading down to Garden Street beyond; Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen LeeHarvard Graduate Student Housing (29 Garden Street); Photos from American Hydrotech, courtesy Richard Burck Associates / Photographer: Stephen Lee
Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street is located at 29 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; Phone: 617-495-1459; visit their website here. Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street is the recipient of General Design Award in the 2007 ASLA Professional Awards. See the entire Project Spotlight from the American Hydrotech website here. Read the following articles: October 10, 2011 GPW: Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street by Linda Velazquez in the Sky Gardens Blog; May, 2006 High Exposure by Matt Carr in eco-structure; and the December, 2004 29 Garden Street Harvard Graduate Housing Cambridge, Massachusetts by Nancy Levinson in ArchitecturalRecord.com. Learn more about the following companies in The Greenroof Directory: American Hydrotech and Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants. Visit Richard Burck Associates here: http://www.richardburck.com/
 
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