Harvard Business School Schwartz Common and Pavilion

Courtesy of James Ewing
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Conceived as the outdoor heart of student life at Harvard Business School, Schwartz Common is a significant new quadrangle at the core of a decade-long renewal and expansion of the McKim Mead & White and Olmsted Brothers-designed campus. The Pavilion works in both open-air and semi-enclosed configurations, promoting meaningful year-round social interaction, recreation, and collaboration.

Schwartz Pavilion sits at a pivotal location along the newly reorganized Kresge Way promenade, which links the expansive Harvard Business School campus with Harvard’s main campus across the Charles River in Cambridge.

The Pavilion itself, comprising 4,500 square feet of event space, was designed as a highly reflective and refractive vessel of light transmission in collaboration with James Carpenter Design Associates and Reid Architecture. Carefully sited to protect and enhance a 70-year-old champion London Plane tree, it employs a series of fixed and deployable glass partitions, stainless steel column surrounds, integral LED lighting, and movable furnishings—all producing programmatic flexibility while registering dramatically differentiated phenomena from the highly active surrounding spaces. The Pavilion also hosts a large community table for active collaboration and study, along with a unique fire feature for added comfort in the shoulder seasons.

The Schwartz Common landscape helps Harvard Business School realize ambitious sustainability and performance criteria through active stormwater management, with underground cisterns, permeable paving, and carefully selected building materials and furnishings. The Common and Pavilion both reflect a new way of life for the global business community at Harvard Business School, advancing a twenty-first century culture of social engagement, collaboration, and innovation through design.


Boston, Massachusetts




2 acres