Harvard University | Farkas Hall


Leers Weinzapfel Architects and FDA were charged with renovating the former Hasty Pudding space. The design team quickly realized that the “renovation” would involve much more than a few repairs, new seats and a coat of paint. Large portions of the building’s structure would have to be replaced, and the building had to somehow grow to provide new or expanded spaces for public and performer accommodations, a larger stage, new HVAC systems, and other requirements mandated by codes.

Patrons will see the brick building they’ve known for years. However, behind the renovated front portion is an entirely new building. The theatre, as renovated, is a dynamic, contemporary space with steeply-raked seating, lighting catwalks, control booths, and a new orchestra pit.

The theatre has twice as much space as the original, a remarkable achievement considering that the building is landlocked on three sides, and any significant height increase was prohibited by the City of Cambridge. The original theater rose 50 feet above the street, and had a seven foot deep basement. The new building is 54 feet tall, with an additional 40 feet underground. In addition to the public and backstage support spaces, Farkas Hall has a new rehearsal room, prop shop, offices and meeting rooms.

  • Client: Harvard University
  • Architect: Leers Weinzapfel Architects
  • Completion Year: 2007
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Acoustician: Acentech
  • Capacity: 280 seats

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