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Home Environment and Architecture Green Building (MIT)

Green Building (MIT)

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Green Building or Building 54The Cecil and Ida Green Building, also called the Green Building or Building 54, is an academic building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designed by noted architect I. M. Pei, who received his bachelor's degree from MIT. Cecil Howard Green received a bachelor's degree and master's degree from MIT and was a co-founder of Texas Instruments.

The Green Building was constructed 1962-1964. It is 21 stories tall, with a concrete facade that more or less matches the older limestone around it. The basement of the building is below sea level and connects to the MIT tunnel system. Three elevators operate in the Green Building. There are staircases on both the east and west sides of it. On the "Lower Level" (actually one story above ground level), is 54-100, a large lecture hall. The 2nd floor contains the Lindgren Library, part of MIT's library system. The Green Building is the tallest building in Cambridge. When it was built, there was a limit on the number of floors. Thus, it was designed to be on stilts and the 1st floor be 3 stories tall in order to "circumvent" this law. Currently, no building in Cambridge is allowed to be taller than the Green Building.

The windows make a 9 by 16 grid, which could be suitable for playing tetris.

This is the main building for the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science (EAPS), which is known as Course 12 by most MIT students. The department headquarters is on the 9th floor of the building. The lower floors of the building contain the Planetary Science section. The middle floors have the Earth Science section (Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry). The upper floors house the Atmospheric Science section (which also includes Oceanography and Climatology).

The Green Building faces McDermott Court (also known as "the dot"), which is graced by "La Grande Voile" ("The Big Sail") , by Alexander Calder. When the Green Building was first opened, the doors at the base of the building were difficult to operate because of the strong winds coming from Boston Harbor. Large wood panels were erected in the open concourse to block the wind. Several windows popped out on upper stories due to the effects of wind, a problem later repeated in the John Hancock Tower. It follows that Calder was commissioned to create an artwork that would both deflect the winds and be aesthetically pleasing. Although a scale model was paced through wind tunnel tests, administrators from MIT vehemently deny these rumors, insisting that the tests were only to ensure that the sculpture would hold on the windiest days.

The Tech Model Railroad Club, a student group at MIT, owns a model of the Green Building in HO scale (1:87). It has been wired with lights controlled by a microprocessor with controls in a hallway, allowing passers-by to play Tetris on the front of the building.


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