MIT – Simmons Hall

Construction of a new 350-bed, cast-in-place concrete residence facility at MIT’s Cambridge campus, designed by internationally acclaimed architect, Steven Holl. 

Client:   Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Designer:  Steven Holl Architects
Size:  196,000 SF

Project Features

  • Perfcon concrete panels (high strength load-bearing precast panels in a waffle shape) poured onsite and installed to form the exterior walls of the building.
  • 256 of the 290 Perfcon panels were unique configurations.
  • Colors generated from the Perfon system engineering analysis are incorporated into the exterior window frames to reflect the differing loads.
  • 5,998 two-foot square window openings within the exterior’s Perfcon precast panels.
  • Each 20 foot span of precast had to maintain 1/16” tolerance for the windows.
  • Five irregular vertical openings, as high as 40 feet, pass through the building, acting like lungs to provide fresh air throughout.
  • To locate ceiling level studs for the “lung” spaces, points were laid out on the floor below, then plumbed up to the ceiling using vertal lasers.
  • Unique tube and clamp staging system allowed the plasterers to create the irregular “lungs” shapes.
  • Awards:  ACEC Engineering Excellence Honor Award, AGC Build Massachusetts Award, Best of Boston New Building Award, Charles Harleston Parker Medal, Architecture Boston Annual Awards, AIA National Design Award

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