Built in 1985, the Wiesner Building was the last of four I.M. Pei projects on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is described by the I.M. Pei Foundation as "an exercise in connectivity."
Designed to consolidate nine separate arts, media, and research groups from across the campus, it combined traditional and vanguard technologies, both science and art, in one facility with shared sophisticated resources. The building was also conceived to literally and symbolically connect MIT’s historic center to its newly developing east campus: a sculptural concrete arch projects from the side of the building to frame the main axis between the two compounds. Weisner’s three entrances address different parts of the campus and lead to major programmed spaces inside.1
The architects collaborated with three artists to design the building.
Kenneth Noland made the panels and colored bars on the outside and in the atrium, Scott Burton designed the public seating, the stairwell and the balustrades, and Richard Fleischner did the place between the building and its neighbors.2
In 2009 a connected extension was added.
1 Muster, Rosmarie. n.d. “Wiesner Building/Arts & Media Technology Center, MIT | I.M. Pei Foundation.” I.M. Pei Foundation. Accessed September 6, 2022. https://impeifoundation.org/works/wiesner-building-arts-media-technology-center-mit/. Archived at: https://perma.cc/4JPL-NJKR.
2 Huntley, Steve, and Michiel Bos. 1985. “Pei Explains Architecture of Weisner Building,” October 4, 1985, Vol 105, Issue 39 edition. http://tech.mit.edu/V105/N39/pei.39a.html. Archived at: https://perma.cc/EK48-EKRD.