Themes and priorities
MIT’s conservatory-level music program is thriving; more than 1,500 students enroll in music courses each year, and the campus is home to a variety of ensembles and chamber groups. Now under construction, the new state-of-the-art Music Building will support the popular program’s current and future needs and curricular requirements.
Designed by SANAA, the brick-clad building has three corresponding volumes – the Performance Hall, the Music Studios, and the Music and Culture Space – connected by a glass-walled lobby providing multiple entrance points that invite people to pass through the airy, open heart of the building. The volumes will house rehearsal and recording spaces as well as a large-scale, purpose-built performance space, all incorporating sound-insulating walls and optimized acoustical design. Several indoor spaces are designed to serve as smaller, informal performance areas as needed, and the outdoor plaza is also configured to host performances. Below grade, a two-level garage will provide approximately 140 parking spaces.
The building is sited within an illustrious context that includes Kresge Auditorium and the MIT Chapel (both designed by Eero Saarinen) and Baker House, designed by Alvar Aalto. In response, its design incorporates strong geometry, red brick, a stand of trees, and a curving curtainwall and roof that complement the iconic surrounding architecture. The outdoor pedestrian walkways will align with the building's entrances, offering pathways through the building to connect the Johnson Athletic Center, the Zesiger Center, and the Stratton Student Center with nearby student residences. A grove of trees will enhance the site, creating a campus green space that complements the historic Kresge quadrangle.
Designed to advance the vibrancy and diversity of MIT’s evolving West Campus sector, the Music Building was made possible by a cornerstone gift from Joyce Linde, a longtime supporter of MIT and the arts. The project is targeting LEED v4 Gold certification or above.
School or Unit
Design Architect: SANAA, Tokyo, Japan (2010 Pritzker prize profile)
Executive Architect: Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects, Boston, MA
Acoustics Consultant: Nagata Acoustics, Los Angeles, CA
Landscape Architect: Reed Hilderbrand, Cambridge, MA
Construction manager: Lee Kennedy Construction, Quincy, MA
MIT Team: Joyand Charles, Vasso Mathes, Sarah Yazici