Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MIT Buildings

The NY Times today had an interesting article praising the buildings at MIT in recent years. The above is the Stata Center, the Gehry disaster for which MIT sued the architect. I had an office there for a while and it was the most poorly designed building I have ever been in, and my old office was in its predecessor, the old Rad Lab building. Asbestos and all!

The Times recounts:

Next to it is perhaps the most-recognizable symbol of the new M.I.T., Mr. Gehry’s Stata Center, which opened in 2004. It brings together students and researchers immersed in artificial intelligence, linguistics, electrical engineering and computer science. (M.I.T. sued Mr. Gehry and the builder in 2007, after leaks and cracks required repairs. The lawsuit was settled in March.)

Frankly it does not bring anyone together, there are hidden connectors between computer science and EE, routes known only to those on the in. The windows look perpetually dirty due to the design and there are of course leaks and the entry ways seem to drop ice on ever individual seeking refuge!

The Koch building is workable but the Freshman dorm shown has tiny windows reminiscent of a prison and one wonders that if there were ever to be a fire that the student would have no exit via the tiny portals.

As to the old look, frankly the old buildings were are are examples of classic design. The dome stands the test of time better than any building I have seen. Stata and the Ghery kluge will hopefully soon be replaced.