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Media Lab and SA+P Extension

Media Lab Extension

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Architect Fumihiko Maki & Associates, lead designer
and Leers Weinzapfel Associates
Completed 2009
Scope 163,000 gsf

The challenge in expanding MIT's world-renowned Wiesner Building was to increase its size without altering its dynamics. A team headed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki and executive architects Leers Weinzapfel Associates have designed an ingenious connecting structure that will support research and maximize interaction. The building links to the existing facility, which was designed by I.M. Pei and Partners in 1985.

Together with the existing Wiesner Building, the complex houses the Office of the Arts, the Council for the Arts, the List Visual Arts Center, the SA+P's Design Lab and Center for Advanced Visual Studies, the Department of Architecture's Visual Arts Program, as well as MIT's Program in Comparative Media Studies. In addition, the building incorporates the Okawa Center for Future Children, made possible by a $27 million donation from Isao Okawa, Chairman of CSK Corporation and Sega Enterprises Ltd.

A delicate floating structure of glass and metal rods, the new building is designed as a sequence of interlocking double-height spaces. The nine flexible laboratories that flank the atrium are fully visible to passers-by. Clustering rows of offices around the labs encourages creative interaction. Transparent partitions emphasize the open plan offering extended sight lines through the building in every direction so that multiple activities can be seen from any vantage point. Additional details of the building can be found on this Capital Projects site.

Project Team 

Project Managers/MIT Arne Abramson, Program Manager, Facilities
Milan Pavlinic, Manager of Construction Administration, Facilities
Jonathan Himmel, Senior Project Manager, Facilities
Sudy Nally, Project Manager, Facilities
Design Architect Fumihiko Maki & Associates, Japan
Executive Architect Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Boston, MA
Construction Manager Bond Brothers, Everett, MA
 The Media Lab
 MIT School of Architecture
+ Planning
 Fumihiko Maki & Associates
 Leers Weinzapfel Associates
 Media Lab Fact Sheet (PDF)
 MIT opens new Media Lab Complex


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