The Campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rich in Modern architecture. Some of the most innovative and respected Modernist architects left their mark on this prestigious campus. The following is a walking tour of MIT’s Modernist buildings adapted from Robert Bell Rettig’s Guide to Cambridge Architecture: 10 Walking Tours.
Eastgate, 1965, Eduardo Catalano
100 Memorial Drive, 1949, Brown, De Mars, Kennedy, Koch, Rapson – Groundbreaking designed which takes advantage of the riverfront site.
Hayden Library, 1949, Voorhees, Walker, Foley & Smith; Anderson & Beckwith
Baker House, 1947, Alvar Aalto, Perry, Shaw & Hepburn – one of Massachusetts’ most famous buildings designed by Finnish architect Aalto, along with Perry, Shaw and Hepburn most famous for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. The interior of this building feels incredibly amazing, very sensitive to the needs of those who occupy it.
- Baker House
- Kresge Auditorium, 1953, Eero Saarinen – a shell roof supported on three points. Truly spectacular.
- M.I.T Chapel, 1954, Eero Saarinen – a brick cylinder set in a moat. So private and intimate that one undergoes a religious experience once inside the building. Bell tower by Theodore Roszak, bronze screen in the interior by Harry Bertoia. This building represents the unity of all the arts!
Julia Adams Stratton Building, 1963, Eduardo Catalano – “hovering planes of concrete”
Metals Processing Laboratory, 1950, Perry, Shaw, Hepburn & Dean – brick, what Rettig calls “dignified, if unexciting structure.”
Rockwell Cage, 1947, Anderson & Beckwith – Glass walled, clear span stylish building by the “pioneers of Modern architecture at MIT.” This building recalls Peter Behrens A.E.G. High Tension Factory in Berlin, Germany from 1910.
West Garage, 1963, Marvin E. Goody; Carlton N. Goff
Karl T. Compton Laboratories, 1955, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (New York)
East Garage, 1960, Marvin E. Goody; Carleton N. Goff – helical ramp. There are a few outstanding garages by Goody and Goff remaining around Boston. Look for them.
- Green Building, 1964, I.M. Pei, MIT’s first high rise structure with a sculpture by Alexander Calder.