Campus Life

Institute Double Take

The Stata Center is brilliantly illuminated on a summerlike day in fall. The rays of the late afternoon sun hit the building at an angle, creating an aesthetically pleasing effect. What is particularly appealing about this photo is the presence of the stairway and its illumination, which emphasizes the amphitheater in the lower half of the photo. The two trees and their seemingly random placement provide for a contrast in this otherwise overwhelmingly orange theme.

The 730,000 square foot Stata Center was completed in 2004 and replaced MIT’s Building 20. It was the result of a campus expansion in the 1990s that intended to revitalize the northeast campus and represent MIT’s intellectual endeavors. Interestingly, this amphitheater was the subject of a lawsuit in which MIT sued Stata Center’s architect Frank Gehry and two construction companies for design flaws. The suit was prompted by massive drainage leaks that resulted in a $1.5 million reconstruction of the amphitheater. Fortunately, the problems have been fixed, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore!


Exposure Time:
 1/500 sec.

ISO 200

Effective Focal Length:
 24 mm