MIT Media Lab Complex

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

The new Media Lab building sits on the east side of the MIT campus, across the Charles River from the Boston's Back Bay. The new 15,142 m2 (163,000 ft2) research and teaching facility – six floors above ground and one under – houses laboratory spaces, a lecture hall, conference rooms, an event space, and exhibition spaces.

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Maki and Associates

Section diagram courtesy of architect

The design responds to the school’s desire to stimulate communication among researchers. The open plan laboratories are located on alternating levels. This arrangement creates multiple open atriums that can be shared by researchers from different labs. These open spaces allow both physical and visual accesses in all directions. The spiral staircases are carefully designed so that they appear as simple, yet elegant, connectors within the double-height the atriums.

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

Transparent screen shades the glass facade, permitting views of the outside campus, while meeting Cambridge’s regulation limiting the fenestration to 50% of building surface (a measure designed to to reduce energy consumption).

JA+U : MIT Media Lab Complex by Maki and Associates ©Shinkenchiku-sha

The 1.2 by 8 meter (4 by 26.2 feet) aluminum pipe louver panels adorn the exterior of the double-height research labs.

Fumihiko Maki’s recent projects, including this MIT Media Lab Complex, are featured in our A+U July, 2012 Special Issue : “Power of Space – Fumihiko Maki’s Recent Works 2007 - 2015”.