New Form and Function for Knafel

Renderings by Anmahian Winton ArchitectsRenderings by Anmahian Winton Architects
By Ivelisse Estrada

The Knafel Center, previously the Radcliffe Gymnasium, is inarguably the hub of the Radcliffe Institute’s public programs. Here, visitors gather dozens of times each year to experience the Institute’s intellectual content: lectures, symposia, conferences, performances, and more. 

Less visible to the outside eye is its function as a site for exploratory seminars and accelerator workshops, during which participants from all over the world convene to push forward cutting-edge research. As these initiatives have grown over the years, so have their space and technology needs, and now Radcliffe is making major changes to keep up.  

Photos by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute; Renderings by Anmahian Winton ArchitectsPhotos by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute; Renderings by Anmahian Winton Architects

Knafel is presently in the final stages of a conversion focused on event needs, a major campus renewal project made possible by donor support during The Radcliffe Campaign. Work—including a gut renovation of the building’s first floor and smaller changes to the basement and second floor—began in the spring. Once completed, the site will be better outfitted for gatherings great and small: a digital media wall will greet visitors in the lobby, along with two seminar rooms with upgraded audiovisual capabilities, new multi-occupant and single-use bathrooms, a new green room for VIP speakers and performers, and an additional stairwell to ease traffic congestion between the first and second floors during the Institute’s larger events.  

The Radcliffe community will begin reaping the benefits of these changes in the fall.

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