Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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New Vassar Street Residence Hall, Building W46

MIT's new undergraduate residence hall on Vassar Street opens up the West Campus and provides students with a central residential location.

-71.0980000000 42.3588000000
Rendering, Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture

New Vassar Street Residence Hall, Building W46

121 and 169 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Status: Complete

Themes: Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

Completion: 2021

MIT's new undergraduate residence hall on Vassar Street opens up the West Campus and provides students with a central residential location.

Overview

Rendering, Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
Rendering, Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
Rendering, Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
Rendering, Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
Rendering, Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture
View of W. Garage looking down Vassar Street (Photo: C. Harting)

Status

Complete

Completion Date

2021

Themes and priorities

Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

As part of its mission to enhance the student experience, MIT constructed a new undergraduate residence hall on the site of the West Garage parking facility (W45). As noted by Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, a central goal for this residence is to “further unlock the potential of the Vassar corridor” and place more students close to the heart of campus.

The residence hall’s design (influenced by the Architectural Principles Document developed by a team of MIT students, faculty heads of house, and staff) includes rooms arranged in “clusters” of 35-38 students in a mix of singles and doubles with shared community spaces such as lounges and study rooms. Throughout the building, stairways have been located and designed to encourage communication and travel between the clusters. Residents also enjoy larger shared community spaces such as study lounges, music rooms, a private courtyard, and other flexible spaces. A dining facility on the first floor, open to the community, includes a kitchen area where students have the opportunity to cook for themselves. The project adds 450 new dormitory beds and was completed in Fall 2020.

Outside the building, a tree-filled entry courtyard and a plaza area provide green space, inviting benches, and gathering opportunities.

In addition to enhancing the student life experience at MIT, the new residence provides MIT with flexibility and capacity as it continues with its comprehensive renewal of campus housing.

 

Image credits

Renderings courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture, photo by C. Harting

Details

Address

121 and 169 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

School or Unit

Housing

Use

Residential

Project Team

Architect: Michael Maltzan Architecture, Los Angeles, CA (Design Architect); DiMella Shaffer, Boston, MA (Executive Architect)
Construction manager:
Walsh Brothers, Boston, MA
MIT Team: Varin Ang, Jim May, Sonia Richards

Scope

155,978 gsf

Design Features

  • 450 new dormitory beds, 12 apartments for graduate resident tutors, 4 apartments for staff (Head of House, Associate Head of House, Visiting Scholar, and Area Director)
  • Rooms arranged in clusters of 35-38 students with one graduate resident tutor in a mix of rooms that include singles, doubles, and shared community spaces
  • Stairways located to facilitate interaction among room clusters
  • Large shared community spaces including lounges, meeting rooms, music rooms, and flexible spaces
  • Dining hall open to all residents and to the MIT community
  • “Country kitchen” area where students can choose to cook for themselves
  • Benches and lighting added along Vassar Street
  • Green spaces include a tree-filled public entry courtyard, a private courtyard for residents, and a west plaza area
  • The building’s exterior design includes diverse materials and patterning, varied window sizes and types, and additional architectural and sculptural elements to provide visual interest

Sustainable Design Elements

  • Green spaces added, including courtyards and a plaza
  • Trees and other plantings added
  • Green roofs incorporated into design
  • Stormwater management through underground detention beds as well as porous lawn and planted areas
  • 34 short-term bicycle parking spaces and 243 long-term bicycle parking spaces
  • Efficiency strategies of project include high performance building envelope, high performance heating and cooling, efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances
  • Project is targeting LEED Gold certification

Map

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