Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Earth and Environment Pavilion, Building 55

MIT has embarked on a project to create an addition that will add space and programs to the Green Building (Building 54) and create a vibrant hub for interdisciplinary environmental research and education.

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MIT Building 55 (rendering courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects)

Earth and Environment Pavilion, Building 55

21 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA

Status: In construction

Themes: Renovation and renewal
Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

Completion: 2023

MIT has embarked on a project to create an addition that will add space and programs to the Green Building (Building 54) and create a vibrant hub for interdisciplinary environmental research and education.

Overview

MIT Building 55 (rendering courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects)
MIT Building 55 at dusk (rendering courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects)
MIT Building 55 entrance (rendering courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects)
MIT Building 55 (rendering courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects)
MIT Building 55, view from Bldg 14 (rendering courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects)

Status

In construction

Completion Date

2023

Themes and priorities

Renovation and renewal
Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

The iconic Cecil and Ida Green Building (Building 54), designed by I.M. Pei and completed in 1964, is a 22-story Brutalist concrete tower. Currently home to MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) Joint Program, the building will soon experience an expansion project to renovate its primary lecture hall and create a new addition (Building 55) that will serve as the building’s entrance.

Three departments will be headquartered in the new addition: EAPS, the Institute’s academic home for fundamental scientific study of the Earth, its climate system, and the origins and evolution of planets; MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI), a campus-wide effort to foster interdisciplinary education programs and innovation in the domains of climate science and earth systems, urban infrastructure, and sustainability; and the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, one of the world’s most prestigious graduate degree programs in oceanography and applied marine science and engineering.

Building 55 will create a gateway Pavilion offering a new entrance to the co-located headquarters of EAPS, ESI, and the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, and showcasing Earth, environmental, and climate sciences research and education. The exterior of the Pavilion will be sheathed with an innovative system of wood composite panels overlaid with glass panels on brackets that will reflect the surrounding trees and green space. Inside, the renovation of Lecture Hall 54-100 is expected to update and improve the hall’s accessibility, seating, and teaching technologies. The project includes a new lobby, atrium, and exhibition space; reception and office spaces; conference and study rooms; and classrooms. A seating area – the "Campus Living Room" – will provide a welcoming, centrally located space to linger and collaborate.

The project is designed to create a nexus of climate research, environmental innovation, and academic programs on campus.

Image credits

Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

Details

Address

21 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA

School or Unit

School of Science (SoS), MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) Joint Program

Use

Academic

Project Team

Architect: Anmahian Winton Architects, Cambridge, MA
Construction manager: Barr & Barr, Natick, MA
MIT Team: Megan Kefalis, Lachlan Patterson, Todd Robinson

Map

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