Harvard University - Northwest Laboratory Fit-Out

Lab Space Defined By Programmatic Goals

The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) project on the B1 Level of the Northwest Laboratory Building fit-out is the final remaining shell space within a base building that was constructed in 2002. Located above a 4-story underground garage, the 7,000 GSF of shell space designated for the lab fit-out was originally an unconditioned storage area located in a building. The configuration of the research spaces sought to seamlessly integrate the new SEAS labs with the existing adjacent SEAS administration and conference spaces.
The design team began with a programming and conceptual design study to confirm the project scope, code requirements and special research needs of each individual group. The resulting Basis of Design provided wet and dry lab space, a student machine shop, a conference room, and student write-up areas. The complexity of the program required the design to support diverse research activities including a wind-tunnel, a multi-ton 3-D printer, and a BSL-2 space.
Design features such as wall finishes and lighting work unify the spaces and create a coherent sense of place. Strategically located interior glazing provides

visual connections between various labs, increasing
the sense of community. A large collaboration space sits within a lab suite to ease the flow of discussion from the wet bench to the white board.

In response to urgent space needs, the project was programmed and designed in less than 6 months and constructed in 90 days. The project met this aggressive schedule while remaining under budget and realized less than 2% in change orders.

The recently completed project is LEED Gold certified and meets Harvard’s Green Building Goals.


Cambridge, MA

Building Type

Research Lab and Workspace


7,000 SF

Download Project