Monday, September 7, 2009

Buildings Breaking Boundries: Stata Center

The Stata Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, and was opened on March 16, 2004.

It was erected on the same ground where MIT's legendary "Building 20" had formerly stood, a timber-framed structure built during World War II that was home to the historically significant Cambridge MA Radiation Laboratory. Building 20 is credited with having been the breeding ground for many of the great ideas born to MIT; a requirement for new structure was that it would have to capture and inspire, Building 20's innovative and serendipitous spirit.

The Stata building today houses MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) as well as the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.

The major funding contributors were Maria and Ray Stata (MIT class of 1957) along with Bill Gates, Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. (MIT class of 1954), and Morris Chang of TSMC. Most notably from the fourth floor upwards, the building is split into two distinct structures: the Gates tower and the Dreyfoos tower.

In 2004, in an article penned for the Boston Globe, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Robert Campbell described the Stata Center as “a work of architecture that embodies serious thinking about how people live and work, and at the same time shouts the joy of invention.”

Michelle Govender
Association Minute Secretary


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