Earth and Environment Pavilion, Building 5521 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA
Status: In construction
Themes: Renovation and renewal
Enhancement of life and learning
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.
Themes and priorities
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.