President Charles M. Vest has announced the site for a set of buildings that will become the heart of activities at the Sloan School of Management. The site, with a courtyard overlooking the Charles River, is between Memorial Drive and Main Street, adjacent to the present Sloan School building at 50 Memorial Drive.
"This is an exciting step we've taken in the process of planning our new space," said Sloan Dean Richard Schmalensee. "This site will enable us to create a world-class facility for management education and research on the MIT campus. It will become the eastern gateway into MIT. Its location allows us to maintain our close connections to the other schools at MIT--one of Sloan's primary strengths."
"The Sloan School is now spread out in many locations--a situation which naturally inhibits the cross-disciplinary exchanges that characterize MIT," President Vest said. "I'm delighted that the buildings will bring together in one place the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Department of Economics, a natural pairing. "
The site will give Sloan a strong presence within MIT and the Cambridge and Boston communities. The site was selected after the team of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners and Sasaki Associates reviewed several options.
The development, pending approval of the City of Cambridge, will face Main Street, occupying the current Sloan parking lot. It will require the relocation of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and its distinguished Burndy Library, currently housed at 38 Memorial Drive in a three-story MIT building which would be taken down under the plan.
In selecting the site, MIT and the architects evaluated the potential of other alternatives, seeking possibilities for providing a central "heart" of interaction for the school, with meaningful open space and ample classroom and office space.
In recent years, Sloan has had its offices, classrooms and research centers dispersed among nine buildings. It became clear that a more integrated environment would enhance interaction among students and faculty, and in 1997 initial discussions on new building development were begun.
The next step will be design. The architects will develop different conceptual options for the site, working to develop a sensitive connection to the Kendall Square technology area and the rest of MIT. The buildings' interiors will be designed to accommodate current and future needs including future instructional technologies.
Dean Philip Khoury of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences said that SHASS "is committed to maintaining the important intellectual ties that the Department of Economics shares with the Sloan School of Management. We are very pleased that the planned new facilities will provide a physical environment that will preserve and encourage this relationship."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 31, 2001.