Dreyfus Chemistry Building was the second of three buildings designed by I.M. Pei around McDermott Court at MIT. Like Green Center for Earth Sciences (1962-1964) and Landau Chemical Engineering Building (1973-1976), it was executed in architectural concrete to match the limestone campus, and scaled and situated in relation to adjacent academic facilities. All three buildings were designed to emphasize the ordered sequence of open spaces and connected structures that characterize MIT’s campus tradition. Pei added a fourth building, the MIT Arts & Media Center, in 1984.
Dreyfus was designed to express its location at a major campus intersection. One end of the 5-story rectangular building cantilevers out to create an open portico over an important pedestrian path that continues straight through to meet other walkways. The building is linked into MIT’s campus network by a 3-story bridge and three underground tunnels.
The interior of Dreyfus was renovated in 2003; its plastic-faced and board-formed concrete exterior remains intact.
The project received a Harleston Parker Award from the Boston Society of Architects in 1980.
Design Team: I. M. Pei, Design Partner; Pershing Wong, Design Architect
I. M. Pei & Associates