The Harvard Art Museum is a single museum which operates three “museum” divisions: the Fogg Art Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Asian Art Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum of Germanic Art and Culture. The Harvard Art Museums' total spaces also include the central administration, the Straus Conservation Center, the HAM Archives, and the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art. HAM's historic Fogg Building had not been significantly renovated since it was first built in 1927.
MGMP worked with the HAM staff, Harvard's senior administration, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the faculties of the departments of Art History and Architecture to develop a vision statement, a comprehensive strategic outlook, and a staffing plan concept. We prepared a detailed building program outlining the museum’s facility needs for the next 20 years, plus an interim relocation plan for the period while the Fogg was under construction. This interim relocation plan was developed to ensure that no Harvard student cohort should miss out on access to the museum’s collections and research during the construction period. MGMP also created the “study center” concept that now defines HAM’s space use throughout all buildings.
Our work outlined a multi-phase, ten-year approach, in which a new site would have been developed at Harvard’s new Allston campus. The contents of the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger buildings were to be relocated to this new site (Site II) and then renovation and expansion would take place at the Fogg. The buildings were to be repurposed, with the Allston site hous- ing a large portion of the HAM staff and numerous art storage, study and seminar areas.
The original Fogg site, redesigned and expanded by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, presents all of the museum’s public exhibitions. The total project budget was approximately $252 million for the newly expanded 210,000 gsf Fogg renovation, which in 2014 opened to critical and public acclaim.