Dome Cocoon Comes Down in Dec. Media Lab E14 Move-In by October

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The Great Dome is seen mid-afternoon from Killian Court as Facilities clean up after the official welcome to the Class of 2013 on Sunday. The dome, which has been kept under wraps for most of the summer, is currently undergoing renovation.
Frank M. Yaul
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The Media Lab’s extension, pictured on Aug. 30, is nearing completion.
Frank M. Yaul

Construction to make the Building 10 dome weathertight continues through December, while the new Media Lab Extension prepares for new occupants in October, according to MIT Facilities.

Work on the dome started five months ago, in response to continuing problems with water leaking into the 8th floor of building 10, which houses the Barker library stacks, said Senior Project Manager Joseph Collins.

This project is independent of the recently-completed refurbishment of Barker’s reading room, which added new furniture, lighting, and carpeting to the popular study area.

Killian Court now stands against a backdrop of the overhaul as a white tarp has shrouded the landmark dome for the past six weeks.

Currently, workers are removing limestone from the structure in anticipation of the weatherproofing process, Collins said. The white tarp will be removed starting in November.

Collins said that scaffolding will be removed by December.

Media Lab Extension Continues

On the east side of campus, construction of the $90 million Media Lab Extension has been progressing on schedule and under budget despite initial financial troubles.

Media Lab groups will begin moving into building E14, the extension of the Wiesner Building (E15), along with groups from the School of Architecture and Planning in the last week of October.

Originally designed within the Evolving Campus Capital Program a decade ago, the Media Lab project was put on hold in 2002 due to insufficient fundraising. Work was stalled until 2006, when plans were updated to current codes and Bond Brothers became the project’s general contractor.

Featuring designs from the award-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, who teamed up with local firm Leers Weinzapfel, the new building will include seven labs with double-height area to provide open space. Each lab’s floor will lie at a different height in the building, creating a “stair-step” floor plan.