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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory and List Visual Arts Center Addition in Cambridge.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory and List Visual Arts Center Addition

  • COMPLETION DATE
    2010

Overview

Weidlinger Associates, which merged with Thornton Tomasetti in September 2015, provided structural design of a six-story, 162,000-square-foot addition to the Wiesner Building, designed in 1985 by I.M. Pei and home to the Media Laboratory and the List Visual Arts Center. The addition houses media and science laboratories, faculty offices, flexible meeting and performance spaces and a conference center.

A Flexible and Interactive Space
A six-story central atrium connecting the two buildings houses exhibition, performance and gallery spaces. The laboratories flanking the atrium are designed to enable their transformation and reorganization over time without the need for major reconstruction, and research facilities are designed as a sequence of interlocking double-height sectional spaces. Rows of private offices clustered around the laboratories foster social interaction among faculty and students. Transparent partitions permit long sight lines in every direction, so multiple activities can be seen from any vantage point, welcoming visitors and passers-by.

Innovative and Sustainable
The project features a unique long-span Vierendeel truss system and a delicate glass and aluminum skin. The design and construction team worked closely with the university’s Green Building Task Force to recycle 96 percent of the debris from two demolished buildings at the site.

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