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John Harvard's Journal

Connecting to the River Parklands

March-April 2005

Meanwhile, back in Cambridge, students of Bucksbaum professor in urban design Joan Busquets have transformed their studio class at the Graduate School of Design into a book, Bringing the Harvard Yards to the River. Working from the premise that Harvard as it developed has never been understood synthetically or drawn comprehensively, the students made the first detailed maps of the entire campus and its buildings. The book documents the spatial evolution of the campus over time and leads to an understanding of Harvard as “a series of visions, only fragments of which get built,” notes project director and critic in urban design Felipe Correa. The book further explores ways to improve connections between Harvard’s open spaces and the river parklands by regarding the Charles not as “a divider between the Cambridge and Allston campuses but as a potential glue” that could bring them together.

Students in a Design School studio devised new ways of tying the existing campus to the Charles. Above, Miks Karklins reconfigures the river's edge and roads to create parks along its banks and at crossings. Below, Ben Matteson envisions an island park connected to shore by footbridges that relieve traffic problems and open a vista to the historic Longfellow House. 
Both images from the book Bringing the Harvard Yards to the River