Studio VII: 4th-Year Undergraduate, Fall 2016

Project Type: Mixed-Use, High-Rise & Additional Structures

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Professor: Alberto Cabre, Architect, Chef


2030 Master Plan for MIT's West Campus

A new grand gesture in both vertical and horizontal dimensions allows for a redirection of MIT’s Infinite Corridor. The proposed master plan operates as a response to a variety of forces: Eero Saarinen’s 1954 vision for West Campus, the current site context, and MIT’s needs and desires as a leading institution in science and engineering. Identifying 9 key principles, visible through the lens of a mid-twentieth-century architect, allowed for setting the framework for a relevant design process with great hopes for the future built environment.

The current state of this area of campus presents a few notable issues: a lack of identity (both city and campus-scale), underutilized green space, and limited interior space that encourages social interaction, with not only students but other local Cambridge communities. Maintaining awareness of these site circumstances, in conjunction with MIT’s increasing demands for on-campus housing, provided the necessary elements for what led to the proposed master plan. The blending of landscape with the architecture creates a physical platform with hopes of encouraging dialogue between students and the general public, awarding the community diverse perspectives that contribute to West Campus’s new identity. Vertically-focused architecture within the immediate context of Kresge Auditorium, the MIT Chapel, and the Student Center generates a new dynamic of social interaction on campus and responds to a spectrum of scales: from city to room. The Vertical Corridor becomes an enticing new piece of MIT's campus fabric: a new setting for social exchange between the expanding student body and neighboring communities.

Featured in the Wentworth Architecture Review: WAr V7, 2017