The Harvard Art Museums undertook a major expansion and renovation of its facilities to centralize collections, galleries, and curatorial staff. The core project design incorporates elements of the historical Fogg Museum with updated museum infrastructure, student resources, and visitor amenities.
The planning was complicated due to the need to preserve building components of the original structure—the historical Fogg Museum is the centerpiece of the effort—as well as artwork that remained in storage during the demolition. Containment of asbestos abatement areas further restricted demolition of adjacent spaces. In addition, Harvard vigorously pursued sustainability as part of its Green Campus initiative, requiring the sorting and recycling of all debris removed from the existing building.
Through baseline vibration monitoring, seismograph experiments, and working closely with the Fogg curators, Kleinfelder determined and selected removal methods with vibrations that the art and architecture could tolerate. For example, chipping hammers to remove floor tiles were too destructive, so crews removed grout by hand, lifting tiles with hand tools. To meet Harvard’s sustainability requirements, Kleinfelder identified all salvageable pieces and provided quantity estimates for materials management planning for nearly a dozen containers of recovered items.
The coordination and resulting simultaneous activities saved months on a very tight project schedule. Kleinfelder also ensured the integrity of artwork and careful removal of important building components by integrating the seismographic results.