Helping students rest, recharge, and connect
THE HEART OF STUDENT ACTIVITY. The building pulses with students throughout the day, but the fourth floor is the vibrant, beating heart of student-led organizations and a critical area for renewal. The building underwent significant upgrades in 1988, but the plans did not include the fourth floor, which was virtually unchanged since the building opened.
Then fast-forward to devastating floods in February 2023, which necessitated total rehabilitation of the fourth floor. Despite the added time and inconvenience, the floods became a catalyst for critical work that will bring these critical spaces into step with current students’ needs.
When it opens in October 2023, the fourth floor will encompass rooms for dance and movement activities along with other flexible spaces for student group meetings and community gatherings--enhancements that solidify the place of artistic performance as a central aspect of many MIT students’ experiences while increasing the visibility of extracurricular activities, helping students to build connections within and across groups. The rooms are for general use, allowing students to tailor each space to their needs.
CASE STUDY: MOVEMENT & DANCE
From ballroom to hip-hop to Dragon to Bhangra, MIT students love to dance! There are nearly 20 dance groups on campus, all of which vie for rehearsal space with instrumental groups, singing groups, and other performing arts organizations. Given the paucity of space available and the increased need for dance space in particular, a group of alumni organized a drive to fund a significant rehabilitation of the fourth floor, including two dance/movement spaces. These spaces will be for general use but include features especially important to dance and movement, including:
- Sprung hardwood floors, new lighting, and acoustics for music.
- Space for changing into dance shoes and for storage of personal belongings
- A flexible, multi-use center space that can link the two dance/movement spaces for larger events and activities.
- Natural light and views of the outdoors making deep interior spaces more welcoming.
Dance and Movement Space W20-491
Sprung wood floors in rooms 401, 407, and 491 make those spaces uniquely well suited for dance and movement activities.
Dance and Movement Space W20-407
Promoting student wellbeing is the motivating spirit behind the Student Center renovation, and these newly refurbished spaces are perfect for wellbeing classes.
Opening the building's central axis will allow light deeper into the fourth floor and focus sightlines on the expandable dance/movement spaces.
The Beech Court
A place for open-air gatherings that connects to the building’s interior.