Simmons Hall 席夢思大廳
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.
本科住宅設想了“孔隙度”的概念。它是一個垂直的城市，10層高，382英尺長，提供125個座位的劇院，夜間咖啡廳和街道用餐。 “海綿”概念通過一系列程序和生物技術功能改變了建築。該建築有五個大開口，分別對應主要入口，觀景走廊和戶外活動露台。大而動態的開口是肺部，自然光線下降，空氣向上移動。宿舍的每間單人間均設有9個可操作的窗戶。 18英寸的牆壁遮擋了夏日的陽光，同時允許低角度的冬日陽光幫助建築物加熱。晚上，這些窗戶的光線是有節奏和神奇的。
Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Local Architect: Perry Dean Rogers & Partners
Project Year: 1999-2002
Structural Engineer: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
建築師：Steven Holl Architects
當地建築師：Perry Dean Rogers＆Partners
When Massachusetts Institute of Technology commissioned Steven Holl in 1999 to design a new a dormitory for the school they had one goal in sight: that the spaces around and within the building would stir up interaction among students. While MIT focused on the building’s use and function, Holl aimed to create a memorable building. With MIT’s vision in mind along with Holl’s artistic architectural ideas, the ten-story undergraduate dormitory became a small city in itself with balancing opposing architectural elements, such as solids and voids and opaqueness and transparency.
Holl’s design solution was that the building would metaphorically work as a sponge. It would be a porous structure that would soak up light through a series of large openings that would cut into the building so that light would filter through in section. These breaks in section would then become main interactive spaces for the students, providing views onto different levels. In his original drawings, Holl referred to these breaks as the building’s “lungs” as they would bring natural light down while circulating air up.
Unfortunately, the final design was not able to incorporate these gaps at the massive scale that Holl originally had in mind due to fire regulations. Nonetheless the main concept was still carried through with smaller breaks. The lungs scattered throughout the building have a dynamic organic geometry that juxtaposes the rigidity of the gridded rectilinear exterior. Along this colored exterior grid system are five large openings, or voids, in an otherwise solid structure that correspond to main entrances, view corridors, and outdoor terraces.
MIT’s desire for the undergraduate dormitory to encourage interaction and mingling among students was the driving force behind Simmons Hall becoming a “slice of a city.” The 195,000 square foot project is not only a dormitory with 350 residences, but also contains an 125 seat theater, a night cafe, and street level dining. The interior corridors are 11 feet wide, enhancing the possibilities for urban conditions inside. The abundance of windows creates a constant flicker of changing lights as the different rooms are occupied, resembling a city skyline at night. These windows also welcome plenty of sunlight and natural ventilation for each room. Each residential room has nine operable windows, and an 18-inch wall depth allows low-angled winter sun to warm up the building and allow the rooms to stay shaded and cool during the summer months.
“For Simmons Hall, the new undergraduate dormitory at the Massachesetts Institute of Technoloy, Holl infects a perforated, monolithic box with contained spaces that curve and unfold towards natural light.” Holl’s design was able to meet MIT’s expectations for a more interactive environment with beautiful spaces through his contained city. The building is both “rational and intuitive” and creates a lively, well-lit urban condition in a completely enclosed structure.
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