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MIT's Building Boom

The campus continues its evolution.

As any biology student could tell you, evolution is never finished. In December 2005, MIT completed a round of building called the Evolving Campus with the official opening of the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex. Other components of the Evolving Campus included the Stata Center, the undergraduate dorm ­Simmons Hall, and the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center. But the campus is still changing: President Susan ­Hockfield has announced a new development project that will invest about $750 million in campus facilities, including buildings for the Media Lab, the Sloan School, and the Center for Cancer Research and improvements to Vassar Street west of Mass. Ave.

The new Sloan building will extend to Main Street; the Media Lab extension is designed to foster collaboration.

Construction on a 163,000-square-foot extension to the Media Lab will begin this year. Designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, the building will be organized around a central atrium with activities in seven labs on either side visible through large glass windows; the idea is to encourage collaboration. Construction on a new Sloan building, which will connect with the business school’s headquarters at 50 Memorial Drive and extend to Main Street, is set to begin this spring.

The cancer center will be moving into “badly needed new facili­ties,” wrote President Hockfield in a letter to the MIT community. “MIT can amplify its current strength at the convergence of the life sciences and engineering by building a single new structure to house the Center for Cancer Research and an approximately equal number of faculty working in closely related fields in bioengineering, along with core technology laboratories.” This new biology building will be located on Main Street, near the Stata Center.

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