Green Center for Physics, MIT

Green Center for Physics

Payette Associates, Imai Keller Moore Associates, 2007

This contemporary glass cube is tucked away just off the infinite corridor - and is one of the great hidden gems on MIT's campus.

To accommodate demands for expansion on a limited footprint, MIT squeezed this addition into a previously-underused service courtyard. Linked to the old buildings by bridges, acts both as a technical center for the Institute's research and as a social magnet for the department. The "densification" of the campus center in this way reflects a lesson learned from urban planning - too much sprawl can disperse activity to the periphery and reduce beneficial interaction, and it is therefore essential to maintain vitality at the core.

The building's distinctive polychrome floor, "Bars of Color Within Squares" (2007), was one of Sol LeWitt's last works of art before his death. It brings pattern and light to the atrium and a new perspective on MIT's famous corridors. The floor was constructed using glass and epoxy terrazzo.

Boston Globe subscribers can find Robert Campbell's insightful review of the project here: