Connections matter—especially in public leadership. The gold standard of experiential learning in this field of study, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University campus was unfortunately disjointed, unwelcoming, and difficult to navigate. With Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), the Harvard Kennedy School underwent an extensive transformation to connect its network of buildings and provide much needed new space, both indoors and outdoors. The designers selected Acentech to provide acoustics consulting for this major renovation and expansion.

The project created a new “gateway” entrance from Eliot Street through the glass-clad Ofer building connecting Taubman and Belfer Halls, and the new Wexner building connecting Littauer, Rubinstein, and Taubman Halls. The new additions provide new classrooms, multi-level dining and informal gathering spaces, a serene winter garden, and clear indoor paths among all spaces. A new invitingly landscaped courtyard, at street level, replaced a sunken surface parking lot and provided space for below-grade food service and back-of-house functions.

Acentech’s team of acousticians worked with designers to provide good environments for discussion-based learning and comfortable public gathering spaces. Sound isolation among learning, meeting, and office spaces, and quiet background noise conditions in learning spaces were similarly important.
With these measures in place, students, faculty, and staff now have a true campus, a connected space to learn, grow, and collaborate.

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