Mar 8, 2010
Posted in: Life & Culture
[by Mei Zuo '13]
Photo Courtesy of Andy Ryan
Bright Star, would I were stedfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart.
– John Keats, "Bright Star"
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same.
The Cambridge skyline welcomes a new Player: the MIT Media Lab Complex.
Alas, here I stand. Under the starry sky, with my eyes frozen on the glowing building.
It's the opening ceremony, mellow, so I hum the Smiths ~ "take me out tonight, where there's music and there's people and they're young and alive...." ("There is a light that never goes out")
As I walk inside, my pulse slows; the air is of another planet. The lighting is simply ethereal. Hush...Moonlight Sonata,
A feeling of weightlessness.
Below: Tod Machover, professor of music and media, discusses his interaction with the space.
Just a bit of background: the new building was designed by Fumihiko Maki & Associates architects. It's an extension to the existing Media Lab built by I.M. Pei, and it'll house certain programs in architecture and planning and comparative media studies, among others. It was envisioned as a forward-thinking building to increase transparency and collaboration among the various programs there. Undoubtedly, there's a certain pervasive energy that's felt instantly.
The building as the organism.
One of my favorite interior elements is the UFO. In the lobby, a saucer-shaped den becomes a cosmonautic meeting-space. Welcome to the space age! So mod!
**We’re on the set of Space Odyssey: 2001! Mad props to John, my ardent photographer! ^_~
Style inspiration: structured shoulders from Balmain’s FW 2010 Collection, redux theme;
minty melon color palette from Balenciaga’s FW 2010 Collection, 60’s pop mod much?
Notice the curved panels that wrap around in a futuristic fashion? For some reason it reminded me of the Guggenheim Museum. Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling rotunda—inspiration through vertigo.
Guggenheim’s rotunda. (Photo: JMG galleries)
Talk about concentricity!
Since we’re on the circular theme: artist Alyson Shotz did an exhibition at the Guggenheim of 18,000 fresnel mirrors caught in suspension with staples. A crystallized curtain of lenses.
The Shape of Space, 2004, Alyson Shotz. (Photo: Kristopher McKay)
Isn’t it magical—what light can do to a space?
A surreal feeling, like the lighting of the new Media Lab Complex. To create a perfect view, Fumihiko Maki designed with louvered windows, injected with argon!
So anything you see through the windows undergoes a pixelation effect.
The light diffuses through the building, and is amplified in all the glass structures, like this floating staircase. Creating pure luminosity.....
It’s a light that never goes out.
A Bright Star.