The first challenge in designing the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation for Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital began with the location. The small, narrow 5,750-square-foot site extended 130 feet along Cambridge Street at the entrance to the hospital's downtown campus. Since the new museum would act as a gateway to the complex, Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects followed the elongated street line of the property for its low-rise building. From the 18-foot-6-inch-wide entrance on the east, the museum widens to 31 feet at the western end. The wedge-shaped 12,270-square-foot space abuts the historic, 19th-century brick Resident Physician's House, containing museum offices.
Exhibitions devoted to the hospital's accomplishments occupy the ground level, with a mezzanine for lectures and receptions above. A roof garden, topped by a steel pergola, offers panoramic views of the nearby brick and copper-trimmed historic architecture of Beacon Hill. The architects clad much of the $7.9 million, steel-framed structure in a shimmering copper (with both flat-lock and standing seams) that will patinate in time to match to the mottled green trim of cornices and oriel windows nearby. As principal Jane Weinzapfel explains, the firm chose raw copper since “prepatinated copper is lifeless and lacks sheen.”
Size: 12,270 square feet
Construction cost: $7.9 Million
Completion date: April 2011
Owner: Partners Healthcare Systems, Inc.
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Exhibit designer: Museum Design Associates
General contractor: Turner Construction Company
Photographer: Anton Grassl/Esto
Renderer(s): Leers Weinzapfel Associates
CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010
Granite Base Panels: Gleason / Ineson Stone Suppliers, Inc.
Membrane roofing: Carlisle SynTec, Inc.
Curtain Wall: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot CorporationGlazing
Glass: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot Corporation
Entrances: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot Corporation
Locksets: Corbin / Russwin
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
Office furniture: By owner
Interior ambient lighting: Spectrum Lighting / Philips Lightolier / Omnilite
Elevators/Escalators: Delta BeckwithPlumbing
Drinking Fountains: Filtrene
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: