Center for Government & International Studies, Harvard University

The Center for Government and International Studies includes new and existing structures in an integrated complex accommodating a range of academic and administrative uses.

CGIS houses the Department of Government and various research centers affiliated with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The two five-story mirror-image buildings are located on either side of Cambridge Street. Their exteriors, clad in terracotta, integrate sweeping expanses of glass where faculty offices are arranged around a circular perimeter.

The interiors encourage formal and informal interaction through dramatic curved staircases that connect airy atrium spaces linking the upper floors of the building. A large percentage of the building’s square footage is located below-grade, with skylights to draw in natural light. Often a surprise encounter, a subterranean winter garden provides much needed moments of calm and relaxation.

Show Facts

Two buildings located on either side of Cambridge Street at Prescott Street, east of Gund Hall (Graduate School of Design) on the Harvard University campus


227,000 ft2 / 21,000 m2 gross area, five-story atria, faculty and graduate student offices; lecture hall, case study room, library, data center, Wintergarden, café, seminar rooms, interconnection to Gund Hall, exterior garden


Harvard University

PCF&P Services

Site analysis, programming, community interface, public approvals, architecture; exterior envelope; interior design

lead designers

Henry N. Cobb
Jay L. Berman

CGIS unites faculty, students, and scholars of the Government Department alongside thriving research centers, promoting interdisciplinary exchange and deepening the mentoring relationship so essential to graduate education.
Project Credits

Landscape: Olin Partnership, Philadelphia; Structural: LeMessurier Consultants, Cambridge, MA; Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing: Cosentini Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA; Lighting: Cosentini Lighting Design, New York; Acoustics: Acentech, Cambridge, MA; Images: Brian Vanden Brink