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Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex

Dreyfus Building

Roll over photo thumbnails to change large image.        All photographs by Andy Ryan.
Architect Charles Correa, lead designer
Goody, Clancy and Associates
Completed 2005
Scope 411,000 gsf
Design features
  • 90-foot-high atrium
  • auditorium and seminar rooms
  • state-of-the-art research laboratories
  • teaching laboratories and student lounges
Sustainable Design Elements
  • achieved nearly a 70 percent reduction in potable water use
  • incorporates gray-water recycling for toilets
  • storm water management was implemented to improve the health of the Charles River
  • heat recovery methods incorporated into HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems
  • variable air volume (VAV) system and right sizing of HVAC equipment to reduce energy use
  • efficient lighting design, controls and daylight controls
  • light pollution reduction
  • low emitting materials including low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints, adhesives and sealants
  • recycled content and regional materials
  • uses high-performance exterior materials
  • construction waste management plan for recycling and salvaging waste

LEED-Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, 2008—the first building on campus to be LEED certified.

The largest neuroscience center in the world, this interdisciplinary research and teaching facility integrates three pioneering institutions devoted to uncovering the mysteries of the brain: The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

The Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex was born of a collaboration between two architecture firms and reflects the extraordinary vision of the lead designer, Charles Correa, and the exceptional design of laboratories and research spaces by Goody, Clancy and Associates. A triumph of urban design and engineering, the complex sits on top of an active freight rail corridor and is built around a soaring five-story atrium. Classrooms, offices, conference rooms, wet and dry laboratories, imaging centers, libraries, tearooms, an auditorium, and a five-story atrium coexist with—and contribute to—the life of the surrounding community.

Project Team 

Project Managers/MIT Arne Abramson, Milan Pavlinic

Charles Correa, lead designer
Goody, Clancy and Associates

Landscape Architects Carol R Johnson Associates; and Martha Schwartz, Inc.
Program Planner Strategic Science and Technology Planners
MEP Engineers BR+A Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Structural Engineers LeMessurier Consultants
Construction Manager Turner Construction Co.
Construction Quality Manager Parsons Brinkerhoff Construction Services, Inc.


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