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Maseeh Hall


Maseeh Hall

Roll over photo thumbnails to change large image.  
All photographs by Benjamin Johnson/Shawmut Design and Construction

DESIGN-BUILD FIRM Shawmut Design and Construction with Miller Dyer Spears
renovations completed 2011
scope 160,000 gsf
Renovation features
  • seven stories
  • interior renovated and architectural features restored
  • upgraded building envelope
  • replaced all windows
  • cleaned masonry and re-pointed joints
  • repaired or replaced limestone features
  • re-built and seismicly braced roof parapets
  • replaced the two copper cupolas
  • the iconography of the building was retained with appropriate choices made in the interior furniture, lighting and fixtures
sustainable design elements
  • total re-use of historical building
  • construction waste management plan that resulted in 93% of waste being recycled and diverted from landfills
  • heat recovery methods incorporated into the HVAC system
  • metered electrical usage by floor that can be utilized by the occupants for energy savings competitions
  • low emitting materials including adhesives, sealants, and paints
  • claiming of cooking grease to be collected and used for bio-fuel
  • claiming of food disposal by-products to be used for compost

2010 Preservation Award from the Cambridge Historical Commission

Originally built in 1901 and called Riverbank Court, the building was designed to be a hotel with apartments. It was purchased in the late 1930’s by MIT and converted into a residence hall for graduate students and was later named Ashdown House in honor of its first and long-time house master, Avery Ashdown. The building received an extensive renovation in part from a donation by alumnus Fariborz Maseeh. In recognition of his gift to the Institute, MIT renamed the undergraduate residence hall Maseeh Hall.

Opened in August of 2011, Maseeh Hall accommodates 460 students and adds another undergraduate living and learning community to MIT’s residential options. The renovated facility includes the new Howard Dining Hall, designed to encourage informal interactions and provides a full meal plan for residents and dining for other members of the larger MIT community. It creates a pleasant gathering place near the geographic center of the campus.

The renovation the building received is in accordance with the Institute’s environmental goals and contains many sustainable features. These include heat recovery methods in the HVAC system, energy efficient lighting, and sustainable finish materials. The construction waste management plan resulted in 93% of waste being recycled and diverted from landfills. Facilities is applying for LEED Certification for this renovation and expects to receive a LEED Silver rating or higher.

Project Team 

Project Managers/MIT Sonia Richards, Travis Wanat, and Bernard Richard
DESIGN-BUILD team Shawmut Design and Construction with Miller Dyer Spears
Structural Engineer Souza True
Landscape Architect Michael Immel
food services consultant Ricca Newmark
 MIT's Division of Student Life
 MIT alumnus gives $24M to expand the Institute’s undergraduate student body
 There's no place like Maseeh Hall


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