PAUL S. RUSSELL MUSEUM OF MEDICAL HISTORY AND INNOVATION

with Leers Weinzapfel Associates

Location: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Completed: Spring 2012

Photos: Anton Grassl/ESTO

 

The new museum is located on a prominent site on MGH's downtown campus and relfects the hospital's achievements, culture, and place in the community.  The museum exhibits the hospital's evolution of medicine and surgery, as well as the innovative science and research that underlie their development.  Reception space, permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a media and lecture space, and associated support spaces are located on two floors with a terraced garden at the roof level. 

 

The museum marks the entrance to the MGH campus with a double-height glass volume that allows a view of the adjacent historic Resident Physician's House, where the museum's administrative offices are located. A rooftop pergola underscores this gesture, while providing an armature for plantings and lighting at the roof garden.  The massing of the building is composed of a simple copper core which houses the service spaces, while the served spaces are housed in a glass and copper volume on Charles Street that acts as a storefront for the inner workings of MGH, while allowing views toward the state house from an oriel window on the second floor.  The museum's copper cladding takes a material which is typically used as a detail in the adjecent Beacon Hill neighborhood and makes it primary; this allows the museum to engage in a dialog with its context while reminaing unapologetically modern.

ALAN CHRIST ARCHITECTS LLC  117 Kent St. #2, Brookline, MA