Boston, Massachusetts

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.

Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architecture & Urban Design

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Principal in Charge: Jane F. Weinzapfel, FAIA
Project Manager: Winifred A. Stopps, Senior Assoc. AIA LEED AP
Project Architect: Alan Christ, AIA LEED AP
Design Architect: Tom Chung, Senior Assoc., AIA LEED AP
Project Team: Kevin Bell AIA, Susan Crowe Knight, Laura Duncan, Shih-Min Hsu AIA, Hannah Jackson RA, Irene Kang AIA LEED AP, Matt Petrie AIA, Jared Ramsdell, Marley Wright RA

Exhibit designer: Museum Design Associates

Civil: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
Geotechnical: McPhail Associates, Inc.
Structural: Lim Consultants
MEP, Fire Protection, IT: BVH Integrated Services

Landscape: Brown Sardina, Inc.
Lighting: Lam Partners, Inc.
Acoustical: Acentech Inc.
Code: Cosentini Associates, Inc.
Zoning/Permitting: Goulston & Storrs
IMPNF / Planning: Epsilon 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



Structural system
Steel Frame: Issacson Detailing, LLC
Concrete Rebar: Barker Steel, LLC
Steel Pan Stairs: James F. Stearns Co., Inc. / Southeastern Metal Fabrications
Steel Pergola: Issacson Detailing, LLC
Concrete Caissons: New England Foundation Co., Inc.

Exterior cladding

Granite Base Panels: Gleason / Ineson Stone Suppliers, Inc.
Copper Panels: Revere Copper Products, Inc. / J.F. Shea & Co. Inc.
Curtain Wall: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot Corporation
Metal Panels: The Cheviot Corporation
Fiber Cement Panels: American Fiber Cement Corporation
Moisture barrier: Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing
Exterior Paint @ Pergola: Tnemec
Moisture Sheathing: USG
Below-Grade Waterproofing: W.R. Grace
Rigid Insulation: Dow Chemical Company


Membrane roofing: Carlisle SynTec, Inc.
Metal: Revere Copper Products, Inc. / J.F. Shea & Co. Inc.
Roof Pavers: Hanover Architectural Products


Curtain Wall: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot Corporation


Glass: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot Corporation
Glass Guardrails: C.R. Laurence Co., Inc.


Entrances: Oldcastle Building Envelope / The Cheviot Corporation
Metal doors: Curries
Wood doors: V.T. Industries Inc.
Custom Wood Doors: CW Keller and Associates, Inc.
Aluminum Door Frames: Wilson Partitions
Fire-Rated Glass and Aluminum Doors: Aluflam North America


Locksets: Corbin / Russwin
Closers: Norton Door Controls
Exit devices: Precision Hardware
Pulls: Rockwood
Security devices: Folger Adam Electrified Products

Interior finishes

Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
Suspension grid: Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
Folding partitions: Moderco, Inc.
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: C.W. Keller and Associates, Inc.
Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams / Tnemec
Paneling: C.W. Keller and Associates, Inc.
Plastic laminate: Wilsonart International Inc.
Wall tile (Public Restrooms): Royal Mosa
Wall tile (Janitor’s Closets): American Olean
Floor tile (Public Restrooms): Vermont Structural Slate Co.
Stair Treads: Vermont Structural Slate Co.
Concrete Flooring Color Hardener: L.M. Scofield Company
Sprayed Acoustical Insulation: International Cellulose Corporation
Column Covers: SAF Metal Fabrication
Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops: C.W. Keller and Associates, Inc.
Artwork Hanging Track: Absolute Museum and Gallery Products


Office furniture: By owner
Reception furniture: By owner
Chairs: By owner
Tables: By owner
Upholstery: By owner


Interior ambient lighting: Spectrum Lighting / Philips Lightolier / Omnilite
Exhibit Track Lighting: Philips Lightolier
Exterior Pergola Lighting: designplan / B-K Lighting
Exterior Landscape Lighting: B-K Lighting
Dimming System or other lighting controls: Crestron


Elevators/Escalators: Delta Beckwith


Drinking Fountains: Filtrene
Dual-Flush Toilets / Flushometers: American Standard / Sloan
Restroom Sinks / Faucets: American Standard / Toto
Kitchen Faucet: T & S Brass and Bronze Works

Energy management or building automation system: BCM Controls Corporation

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Corten Steel Planters: Southeastern Metal Fabrications