Stata Center

The Ray and Maria Stata Center is a 720,000-ft² academic complex designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The building opened for initial occupancy on March 16, 2004. It sits on the site of MIT's former Building 20, which housed the historic Radiation Laboratory, in Cambridge, MA.

Major funding for this project was provided by Ray Stata (MIT class of 1957) and Maria Stata. Other major funders include Bill Gates, Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. (MIT class of 1954), and Morris Chang of TSMC. Above the fourth floor, the building splits into two distinct structures: the Gates tower and the Dreyfoos tower.

Contained within the building are the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, as well as the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Academic celebrities such as Noam Chomsky, Rodney Brooks, and Ron Rivest have offices there. W3C founder Tim Berners-Lee and Free software movement founder Richard Stallman also have offices within.

Several MIT classes, including many taught by the computer science and electrical engineering department (Course VI) are held inside. The Forbes Family Café is also located in the Stata Center, serving coffee and lunch to the public.

In contrast to the trend at MIT of referring to buildings by their numbers rather than their official names, the complex is usually referred to as "Stata," or "the Stata Center." The two towers are often called "G Tower" and "D tower".

Building 20

The Stata Center necessitated the removal of the much-beloved Building 20 in 1998. Building 20 was erected hastily during World War II as a temporary building that housed the historic Radiation Laboratory. Over the course of fifty-five years, its "temporary" nature allowed research groups to have more space, and to make more creative use of that space, than was possible in more respectable buildings (including providing permanent rooms for official Institute clubs and groups, most notably the Tech Model Railroad Club). Professor Jerome Y. Lettvin once quipped, "You might regard it as the womb of the Institute. It is kind of messy, but by God it is procreative!" [cite journal
title=Building 20: the Procreative Eyesore
journal=Technology Review
issue=November/December 1991
] [cite web|author=|title=Quotes and Stories about Building 20|url=|publisher=MIT Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|date=1998-03-02|accessdate=2007-09-23]

Critical response

"The Boston Globe" architecture columnist Robert Campbell wrote a glowing appraisal of the building on April 25, 2004. According to Campbell, "the Stata is always going to look unfinished. It also looks as if it's about to collapse. Columns tilt at scary angles. Walls teeter, swerve, and collide in random curves and angles. Materials change wherever you look: brick, mirror-surface steel, brushed aluminum, brightly colored paint, corrugated metal. Everything looks improvised, as if thrown up at the last moment. That's the point. The Stata's appearance is a metaphor for the freedom, daring, and creativity of the research that's supposed to occur inside it." Campbell stated that the cost overruns and delays in completion of the Stata Center are of no more importance than similar problems associated with the building of St. Paul's Cathedral. [cite news
author=Robert Campbell
title=Dizzying heights - In Frank Gehry's remarkable new Stata Center at MIT, crazy angles have a serious purpose
work=The Boston Globe
publisher=The New York Times Company
date=April 25, 2004
] The 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek guide "How to Get into College," which lists twenty-five universities its editors consider notable in some respect, recognizes MIT as having the "hottest architecture," placing most of its emphasis on the Stata Center. [cite news
author=Kantrowitz, Barbara
title=America's 25 Hot Schools
url=|work=Newsweek via
publisher=Microsoft Corporation
date=August 2004

Though there are many who praise this building, and in fact from the perspective of Gehry's other work it is considered by some as one of his best, there are certainly many who are less enamoured of the structure. The use of glass for walls on the inside means that those who work in the building have to give up a sense of privacy.Fact|date=December 2007 There is also one lecture room where, because of the slight lean of the wall panels, some people have been known to experience vertigo.Fact|date=December 2007 Sound insulation is almost absent.Fact|date=December 2007 The building has also been criticized as insensitive to the needs of its inhabitants, poorly designed for day-to-day use, and at an official cost $283.5 million, overpriced.Fact|date=November 2007 Probably one of the more successful aspects of the building is the inner circulation system with niches for impromptu meetings and blackboards along the wall.Fact|date=December 2007

Mathematician and architectural theorist Nikos Salingaros has harshly criticized the Stata Center: "An architecture that reverses structural algorithms so as to create disorder -- the same algorithms that in an infinitely more detailed application generate living form -- ceases to be architecture. Deconstructivist buildings are the most visible symbols of actual deconstruction. The randomness they embody is the antithesis of nature’s organized complexity. This is despite effusive praise in the press for 'exciting' new academic buildings, such as the Peter B. Lewis Management Building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and the Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences at MIT, all by Frank Gehry. Housing a scientific department at a university inside the symbol of its nemesis must be the ultimate irony." [cite book
title=Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction
ISBN status=May be invalid - please double check

Former Boston University president John Silber said of the building, "It really is a disaster." [cite book
title=Architecture of the Absurd: How "Genius" Disfigured a Practical Art
publisher=Quantuck Lane
ISBN status=May be invalid - please double check
] Architecture critic Robert Campbell praised Gehry for "break [ing] up the monotony of a street of concrete buildings" and being "a building like no other building."


On October 31, 2007, [cite news
author=Dey, Arkajit
title=MIT Sues Gehry Firm Over Stata Problems; Lawsuit Describes Persistent Leaks, Sliding Ice and Snow, and Cracking Masonry
work=The Tech
date=November 9, 2007
] MIT sued [cite news
author=Glahn, Lisa F. of Mintz Levin
title=Massachusetts Institute of Technology v. Frank O. Gehry & Associates, Inc., n/k/a Gehry Partners, LLP and Beacon Skanska Construction Company, n/k/a Skanska USA Building, Inc.
work=The Tech
date=October 31, 2007
] architect Frank Gehry and the construction company, Skanska USA Building Inc., for "providing deficient design services and drawings" which caused leaks to spring, masonry to crack, mold to grow, drainage to back up, and falling ice and debris to block emergency exits.cite news
author=Murphy, Shelley
title=MIT sues Gehry, citing leaks in $300m complex; Blames famed architect for flaws at Stata Center
work=The Boston Globe
publisher=The New York Times Company
date=November 6,2007
] A Skanska spokesperson said that prior to construction Gehry ignored warnings from Skanska and a consulting company regarding flaws in his design of the amphitheater, and rejected a formal request from Skanska to modify the design.

In an interview, Mr. Gehry, whose firm was paid $15 million for the project, said construction problems were inevitable in the design of complex buildings. “These things are complicated,” he said, “and they involved a lot of people, and you never quite know where they went wrong. A building goes together with seven billion pieces of connective tissue. The chances of it getting done ever without something colliding or some misstep are small.” “I think the issues are fairly minor,” he added. “M.I.T. is after our insurance.” Mr. Gehry said “value engineering” — the process by which elements of a project are eliminated to cut costs — was largely responsible for the problems. “There are things that were left out of the design,” he said. “The client chose not to put certain devices on the roofs, to save money.” [cite news
author=Robin Pogrebin and Katie Zezima
title=M.I.T. Sues Frank Gehry, Citing Flaws in Center He Designed
work=The New York Times
publisher=The New York Times Company
date=November 6, 2007


*Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
**World Wide Web Consortium
*Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS)
*Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
*Childcare Center
*Fitness Center
*Forbes Cafe
*MIT Campus Police patrol station
*MIT Library cube

imilar works from Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry built a building assembly, very similar in look and style, called "Der Neue Zollhof" in Düsseldorf, Germany.


*cite book |first=Nancy E.|last=Joyce|others=afterword by William J. Mitchell, photography by Richard Sobol |title=Building Stata: The Design and Construction of Frank O. Gehry's Stata Center at MIT
publisher=The MIT Press |location=Cambridge, Mass.|year=2004
isbn=978-0262600613 |ISBN status=May be invalid - please double check

*cite book | first=William J.| last=Mitchell| title=Imagining MIT: Designing a Campus for the Twenty-First Century | year=2007 | publisher=The MIT Press|location=Cambridge, Mass. | isbn=978-0-262-13479-8 | ISBN status=May be invalid - please double check

External links

*cite web|title=Stata Center|url=|publisher=MIT Department of Facilities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|accessdate=2007-09-23
*cite web|title=A multimedia walking tour of the Stata Center|url=|publisher=Untravel Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup|accessdate=2008-06-19
*cite web|title=Ray and Maria Stata Center|url=|publisher=MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|accessdate=2007-09-23
*cite journal|author=Reiss, Spencer|title=Frank Gehry's Geek Palace|url=|journal=Wired, CondéNet Inc.|month=May | year=2004|issue=12.05|accessdate=2007-09-23|doi=10.1007/s11916-004-0076-y|volume=8|pages=518
*cite news|author=Beam, Alex|title=After buildup, MIT center is a letdown|url=|work=The Boston Globe|publisher=The New York Times Company|date=2004-05-04|accessdate=2007-09-23
*cite news|author=Ted Smalley Bowen|title=MIT's Stata Center Opens, Raises Questions about Cost Control|url=|work=Architectural Record|publisher=The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (|date=2004-05-19|accessdate=2007-09-23
*cite web|author=Wollman, Garrett A.|title=Building MIT's Stata Center: An IT Perspective|url=|format=KPresenter|work=Lisa'05 Conference Proceedings|publisher=USENIX (|date=2005-12-20, presented 2005-12-07|accessdate=2007-09-23
* Virtual tour: cite web
author = MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
title = CSAIL Lab Virtual Tours - Information Desk
date = undated
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-26


*cite web|title=Campus

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