MIT’s Media Lab Moves Into Its New Mondrian-Inspired Building


There will be no more secrets hidden behind I.M. Pei walls and tinted windows at MIT‘s famous Media Lab, as this past Friday marked the opening of the school’s new building for the storied program. The new structure was designed by Pritzker-winning architect Fumihiko Maki and features wide-open, airy spaces full of floor-to-ceiling glass and, as follows, lots of natural light. A big departure from the building they’d been in, Pei’s aforementioned Wiesner Building. And because this new structure has been in the works for the past twelve years, one could argue that this could be former Media Lab director John Maeda‘s final contribution to the program. Here’s a bit of description:

Influences on the building’s design included the artists Piet Mondrian and George Seurat, as well as the art of Japanese paper lanterns. The white, glass, and aluminum building includes touches of the primary colors red, blue, and yellow, which are often found in Mondrian’s paintings.

The MIT Media Lab Complex design, which MIT had originally requested consist entirely of glass walls, had to be tempered to fit Cambridge energy requirements that restrict the use of glass construction in buildings. To accommodate the codes, Maki and his team integrated translucent aluminum screens over the building’s many glass and solid walls.