ABA/Annum Completes Harvard Divinity School’s Swartz Hall Renovation & Expansion


Ann Beha Architects, now Annum Architects, completed the renewal and expansion of Harvard Divinity School’s Swartz Hall. Standing at the center of academic and administrative life of HDS, Swartz Hall was constructed in 1911 and is Harvard University’s only Collegiate Gothic structure.

With a mission to educate students of religion for intellectual leadership, professional service, and ministry, HDS is the first nonsectarian theological institution in the United States. As part of this major renovation, the first since the building’s completion, the firm designed an architectural environment reflective of the school’s multireligious community and the many faith traditions practiced by students, staff, and faculty. In addition to preserving the historical character of an existing chapel, an inclusive multifaith space and adjacent room for ritual cleansing by Muslims before daily prayers were created from former library stack space on the second floor.

The rejuvenated Swartz Hall creates a new campus gateway and center of academic, social, and spiritual life for HDS, building connections with the Harvard campus and surrounding neighborhood. “The collective team proved to be very talented and able to successfully meet the frequent challenges the project presented,” notes Ralph de Florio, Director of Operations for the duration of the project. “Ann Beha Architects was the right architectural firm for this project and the school will benefit from their work on this project for many decades to come.”

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