Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences, Building 32

An innovative and visually challenging structure, the Stata Center defies convention and embodies the spirit of MIT’s mission.

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Stata Center exterior photo

Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences, Building 32

32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Status: Complete

Themes: Innovation and collaboration
Renovation and renewal
Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

Completion: 2004

An innovative and visually challenging structure, the Stata Center defies convention and embodies the spirit of MIT’s mission.

Overview

Stata Center exterior photo
Stata Center interior stairwell photo
Stata Center exterior photo
Stata Center lobby photo

Status

Complete

Completion Date

2004

Themes and priorities

Innovation and collaboration
Renovation and renewal
Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

The Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences is built on the site of MIT's legendary Building 20, a “temporary” timber-framed building constructed during World War II that served as a breeding ground for many great MIT-originated ideas. Designed by renowned architect Frank O. Gehry, the Stata Center is meant to carry on Building 20's innovative and serendipitous spirit, and to foster interaction and collaboration across many disciplines.

The building is home to the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS), and the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Its striking design—featuring tilting towers, many-angled walls, and whimsical shapes—challenges much of the conventional wisdom of laboratory and campus building.

When the building opened in 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Robert Campbell wrote in the Boston Globe that the building is "a work of architecture that embodies serious thinking about how people live and work, and at the same time shouts the joy of invention."

Image credits

Andy Ryan

Details

Address

32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Renewal Status

Completed

School or Unit

School of Engineering (SoE), School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)

Use

Academic

Project Team

ArchitectGehry Partners, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Construction manager: Skanska USA Building, Inc., Boston, MA
Landscape architectOlin Partnership, Philadelphia, PA
MIT team:  Nancy Joyce and David Lewis

Scope

430,000 gsf plus 290,000 gsf underground garage

Design Features

  • Flexible research facilities
  • Classrooms
  • Large auditorium
  • Social areas along the interior "student street"
  • Fitness facilities
  • Childcare center

Sustainable Design Elements

  • Innovative storm water retention and management system that employs biofiltration and which services several of the surrounding buildings as well as the Stata Center
  • Irrigation system connected to central weather station—system uses weather data to control water flow, identify leaks, and cut off water flow
  • Light pollution reduction
  • Extensive use of displacement ventilation utilizing a raised floor system
  • Monitoring and controlling CO levels in garage through a demand controlled ventilation system
  • Minimizing refrigerants and eliminating Halon, a fire retardant, in the building
  • Operable windows for natural ventilation and individual control, and which provide an abundant use of daylight in all interior spaces
  • Landscape design for Northeast Sector that uses native vegetation and water-efficient design
  • Roof design that incorporates landscaping for shading and storm water retention and a white reflective surface to reduce heat island effect
  • Construction waste management plan by contractor to recycle construction waste, which, for example, achieved a near 100 percent recycling rate for the demolition of the garage
  • Recycled timbers from Building 20 for flooring

Awards

2005 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence
American Council of Engineering Companies

2005 Gold Award for Sustainable Site Design
American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts

Map

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