The Galante Architecture Studio, which has offices in New York City and Cambridge, MA., was commissioned to design the new Harvard Ceramics Studio and Gallery in 2013. The building’s features include a combination of terracotta and Cor-Ten steel panels. The architects state that the materials are both a recognition of the type of work that goes on in the building and will be a reflection, through weathering, of the building’s life in time.
Windows cover much of the building’s facade. The designers told Architezer that they wanted to create a building which was open to the street. The glass allows passers-by a view of the activity inside the building. It’s among the elements that the firm states provide a space for artists to think, make, fire and exhibit their works to the public.
The inclusion of terracotta and Cor-Ten steel will allow the building to show its age over time through weathering. The designers state that the materials go through a phase change, similar to how objects are made inside the ceramics studio. When the firing process is complete, the resultant objects carry the evidence of that phase change. As the ceramics building is exposed to the elements, the Cor-Ten steel will develop a patina. The building, like the ceramic works inside it, is undergoing a process of change.
The building was listed in the Top 100 designs for the 2014 CODA Awards.
This physical change also marks a transition in program leadership. On July 1, Shawn Panepinto, acting director since 2010, was appointed director of studio operations and outreach and instructor Kathryn King was appointed the new role of director of education. Together they will oversee all aspects of the program’s development as it begins its new chapter at 224 Western Ave.
Above image: The Harvard Ceramics Studio and Gallery by The Galante Architecture Studio, 2013. Photographs by James Leynse Photography.