!MET, Boston, USA. 2016
Metropolitan Storage Warehouse -completed in 1923, enjoys a central position in MIT campus, at the crossroad of two important axis (Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street). IMET project plans the transformation of this valuable historic building into a melting pot for MIT community, in which history and innovation are in equilibrium and ideas find the perfect context for realization.
The proposal, learning from a thorough study of the building, follows the scheme of a light comet. A carefully organized gradient of perforations releases the existing structure from its heavy load while introducing natural light and visual connectivity among interior spaces.
Removal of interior partitions will generate a continuous open space where programs can be distributed with flexibility. Main structural elements (masonty walls, columns, beams, vaults) are preserved and loads (mass) of the building positively reduced. The existing slabs can be strategically perforated (in a number of ways) to enhance openness of interior spaces and enable a dynamic experience, while preserving the stability and the structural logic of the metropolitan warehouse.
The historic value of the building prevents the modification of exterior elements except for two areas of N & W facades that can be redesigned to gain light & views. Due to the under windowed condition of the existing masonry walls, this would increase contact between interior and exterior.
Depending on the perforation of existing slabs different programs can be located:
_option 1 atrium
flexible scheme: innovation center, co-working, labs, maker space.
_option 2 courtyards
rigid scheme: mit medical, office center, mit services.
The proposal provide a light intervention to respect the historical value and the architectural characteristics of the building.