This new mixed-use building provides much-needed housing for 740 graduate students on the MIT campus. The nine-story residence hall contains living rooms and study areas, a main lobby and an underground parking structure. The project was designed in conjunction with the university, graduate students and neighbors to create a sense of community by combining the graduate CAPACITY740COST PER SQ FT$145.00FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio residents, the larger university campus and surrounding neighborhoods.
The wings are connected by glass links to foster interaction with the outside community and frame view corridors to the Boston and Cambridge skylines, while defining communal space. Student lounges, common kitchen lounges and studies are situated within these links.
Facades recall familiar residential elements in the neighborhood and reinterpret them in a unique way—less decorative with a clean, honest expression. Simple cornice lines are fragmented to break up the horizontal. Bay windows allow form to follow function; vertical lines draw attention skyward.
The project was completed on an abbreviated and aggressive timetable: design to occupancy in an unprecedented 18 months.