29 April 2004

More thoughts on Bldg 32

I was walking from my office (9 Cambridge Center on Main St.) to building 26 tonight and I noticed that they've finally removed the temporary office for the construction dudes which had previously prevented cutting across the Stata lot toward 26.

I climbed up the inside of the weird brick amphitheatre and discovered that the top edge is actually bordering on a nice little roof garden. And the back edge of this roof garden opens onto a huge staircase that winds down toward the breezeway near 26-100. This made it quite perfect for me since I was heading right in that direction.

I had a number of thoughts about various aspects of the building as a result of getting this closer look at it.

First, I'm amazed that someone could take plans or models of that building and make it happen. The view I'm used to (from Main or Vassar St) doesn't do the whole building justice. I mean, for one thing, it's massive. And another cool thing about it is that when it's totally done I bet it will really nicely integrate with the campus around it. They're just now removing all the construction debris and they've put a ton of trees in different places (albeit mostly not yet physically stuck in the ground).

I suspect that the whole effect will be very nice when done but it might fall prey to the same sort of thing that always happens to really nice outdoor installations. The lights will be cool looking and high tech for a year and then the bulbs will die and PhysPlant won't bother to replace them. The grass will die and they'll get sick of resodding and all that sort of thing. Take as another example the very nicely designed little walkway between the CBC and the Kendall theatre. How long did that blue "light path" last before the bulbs all died? Now it just looks lame.

Anyway, the Stata looks pretty hot if you get a look at it up close and from the angles that have been blocked off for the last few years. I suggest everyone cheggidout.

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