Metropolitan Storage Warehouse, Building W41134 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
Status: In design
Themes: Innovation and collaboration
Renovation and renewal
Enhancement of life and learning
MIT is renovating the Metropolitan Warehouse to create a vibrant interdisciplinary hub for design and education and to house the School of Architecture and Planning, a new makerspace for Project Manus, and the new MIT Morningside Academy for Design.
Themes and priorities
Designed by Frederic Pope (first section) and Peabody & Stearns (subsequent additions), the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse — one of the oldest buildings in the neighborhood — was originally constructed in 1895. The building is listed on the State Register of Historic Places and has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. With its square brick tower and crenellated corbelled cornice, it resembles a medieval castle on a city street corner.
MIT’s adaptive reuse of the Metropolitan Warehouse building will redevelop it as a center of interdisciplinary design research and education, providing a new home for the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P). The building will also house the new MIT Morningside Academy for Design, which aims to foster collaboration and innovation on campus, encouraging design work to grow across disciplines. In addition, the building's flagship Project Manus makerspace will serve as a substantial addition to the MIT Makersystem and will expand the design and fabrication facilities available to the campus. As a whole, the reimagined Met Warehouse will include new classrooms, design studio space that will significantly increase MIT’s capacity for arts and design programming, new faculty offices, and areas for meetings and collaborative activities.
The adaptive reuse of the structure will endeavor to preserve the building’s historic character while leveraging and valorizing its existing spaces and infrastructure to serve the needs of current and future programming. A critical design element is the introduction of new floor “platforms” to provide necessary high-bay program space and to allow natural light to penetrate core building areas. The strategic integration of old and new will enhance interdisciplinary interactions between SA+P and other schools at MIT while providing space for an auditorium and other possible ground-floor amenities.
“The renovation of the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse is intended to generate new opportunities for research, teaching, and innovation at the Institute,” says Provost Martin A. Schmidt. “I look forward to seeing faculty and students, across many disciplines, use the new space to push their fields into the future.”