PROGRAM: 350 bed dormitory including a dining hall, auditorium, and other shared facilities
CLIENT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
SIZE: 195,000 sq ft
The undergraduate residence is envisioned with the concept of “porosity.” It is a vertical slice of city, 10 stories tall and 382′ long, providing a 125 seat theater, a night café, and street level dining. The “sponge” concept transforms the building via a series of programmatic and bio-technical functions. The building has five large openings corresponding to main entrances, view corridors, and outdoor activity terraces. Large, dynamic openings are the lungs, bringing natural light down and moving air up. Each of the dormitory’s single rooms has nine operable windows. An 18″ wall depth shades out the summer sun while allowing the low angled winter sun to help heat the building. At night, light from these windows is rhythmic and magical.
A Taste of Simmons Written with love by Simmons residents:
Stepping through the front entrance, you admire the distinguished architecture and striking design of Simmons Hall. Based on a video tour and what you can find online, Simmons is already an incredible dorm, with thousands of windows, several terraces, a two-story movie theater, a giant ball pit, and dozens of lounges scattered throughout the building. . . .
Moseying down the hallway, you witness the vibrant life in Simmons. Pokemon drawings, physics equations, and maps from Game of Thrones adorn the curvy chalk-able walls. Laughter emanates from a group playing board games in one lounge and a massive 18.02 pset party fills another. You stop by our Housemaster’s apartment to grab one of John’s oh-so-delicious smoothies, and follow some enthusiastic freshmen to see their latest projects in our EE lab and workshop. Checking out a movie from front desk for later, you build a new tower out of the blocks in our mailbox lounge, and finally settle down in our dining hall to chat with some friendly Sims about life in the Sponge.
In an hour, everyone gets up to go to the house meeting, and your curiosity beckons you to follow. You grab some dessert, meet some new friends, and end up getting involved in Simmons activities.. . .. Doing cool things has never been easier than at Simmons.
On the MIT campus, all dorms are excellent, but Simmons is particularly open, diverse, and friendly. It’s more than a place to live. Remember one thing, if nothing else: know that we call Simmons our home, and we welcome you to join us. We can’t wait to see you in the fall!
18” wall depth shades out summer sun while allowing low angled winter sun to help heat the building
Opening high and low windows take advantage of the natural rise of warm air within the high-ceiling rooms
- Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl, Tim Bade (design architect)
Tim Bade (project architect)
Mohammed Ziad Jamaleddine, Anderson Lee (assistant project architect)
Gabriela Barman-Kraemer, Peter Burns, Annette Goderbauer, Mimi Hoang, Mohammed Ziad Jamaleddine, Matt Johnson, Makram El-Kadi, Erik Fenstad Langdalen, Anderson Lee, Rong-hui Lin, Stephen O'Dell, Christian Wassmann (project team)