The new face of 400 Memorial Drive.
Don't touch this dial, and watch how the transformation takes place in front of your very own eyes.
The beloved 400 as it stands today, but not for long.
A prefabricated steel frame, set on 15' piers and basement foundation walls, will structure a new elevator, stair and study room tower.
Pre-patinated copper cladding will cover the solid exterior walls of the tower. a sturdy material that should see the house through another 100 years. Bridges from the tower connect to the central corridors of the original house, after the old back stair has been removed. Murals of alum gatherings over the last 100 years will adorn the interior walls of the study areas.
Translucent channel glass (this generation's glass block) will shield selected areas of the tower and allowing it to actively glimmer or glow depending upon the time of day. The same material will be used for the railing of the rebuilt roof deck.
Curtain wall glazing will enclose the light filled collaborative study areas. They provide spectacular views back to the central campus, and projective an open, inviting and proud spirit from the PBE community. Imagine the banners hung from the balcony at Rush Week. Of course screens will be incorporated to allow covering of windows when views "in" need to be restricted.
Pre-patinated copper cladding with white aluminum dormer trim and overhanging sunscreens will give dignity to the existing mansard roof, while allowing for added insulation in that area. A newly paved terrace at the base of the tower will open onto Endicott and Amherst Alley to provide a positive interactive "front porch" for lounging, and bar-b-ques. Trash and kitchen service access will be provided through a small alley around and behind the new tower.
A lightweight trellis will partially shade the new roof deck allowing longer daytime use. Above it, the structure will support a translucent Photo Voltaic array sandwiched in laminated glass, able to sustain the blow of a 5" hail ball at 50 miles per hour without breakage.
The current condition of Amherst Alley is less then desirable from the vantage point of students and administration. Improvements are desired and being welcomed by the MIT Planning Office.
The new tower will give spectacular views of the campus and athletic fields as actives climb and descend between floors of the house. From the outside its new front entry through an animated and brighter edifice will demonstrate positive interventions on Amherst Alley that improve its quality as a habitable parkway rather than leaving it as a back service alley.
The stepping collage of new and existing buildings blends appropriately with the new roof top trellis.
The existing presence of the beloved 400 on Memorial Drive.
From Memorial Drive, the new tower addition and roof deck reconstruction can be considered as taking a respectful back seat to the historic edifice.
The new pre-patinated copper mansard, with white trimmed dormer windows, helps to dignify and insulate the house without losing its recognizable profile.
A new glass surround bay added to the exterior wall of the Living Room, makes a friendlier and more inviting sun filled place for study and day round socializing, with spectacular views of the Charles and the Boston skyline. A paved and planted terrace below it will be accessed from the dining room through new french doors. A tall wrought iron fence, for ornamentation and security, will surround the patio.
The PV trellis roof of the new roof top deck, provides a delicate ornamental top to the building that had been previously lost through earlier years of decay.
WIth a successful fundraising venture, the "value engineering" of the original 1913 design for the house can be avoided, and some of the features there lost, can be brought to life, ushering in an new and invigorated era for PBE.