Cancer Bldg. Groundbreaking Scheduled

Building Will House New Koch Research Institute; Construction Starts on March 7

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Groundbreaking of the new building for the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research will be on Mar. 7, 2008 between Buildings 32 and 68. This rendering is from the point of view of Galileo Way and Main Street with the Green Building in the background and the Broad Institute on the left.
Courtesy of Ellenzweig Architects

Groundbreaking will be held on Friday, Mar. 7, 2008 for a new building to house the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, which will bring together scientists from the Center for Cancer Research and other research groups. The building will be located on Main Street between Building 32 and Building 68 and will be completed in December 2010.

The building will be seven stories tall, according to James May ’83, senior project manager at the Department of Facilities. It will have a footprint of 45,000 square feet and offer a total of 365,000 square feet of space, including space in the basement and in a penthouse, May said.

Floors two through seven will consist only of research laboratories, according to May. “The first floor will have headquarters space, as well as additional labs,” May said. A total of 25 principal researchers will have laboratories in the building, and there will be some shared laboratory space, May said. The faculty members who will occupy the new building will come from the CCR and other departments such as Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, according to Associate Provost Lorna Gibson.

May said that one reason for the choice of the building’s location is its “proximity to similar institutions.” The Broad Institute, Whitehead Institute, Biology and Brain and Cognitive Science buildings are all next to the proposed site. May said that there is “strong synergy” between researchers in these buildings.

Arne Abramson MCP ’82, program manager at the Department of Facilities, said that MIT will be landscaping the building’s entrance on Main Street in connection to the construction to “define MIT’s face on Main Street.” Abramson said that the project will be “extending the Infinite Tunnel Network” by connecting the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research to Buildings 32 and 68 via underground tunnels. According to Abramson, it will take “five or six weeks to move [all the occupants of the building] in.”

The CCR currently occupies space in Buildings E17 and E18, according to Gibson. “We haven’t decided what E17 and E18 will be used for” after the CCR moves into the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Gibson said.

$100 million of the $240 million needed for the construction of the building will be provided by David Koch ’62. “Koch has a long-standing interest in biomedical research,” Gibson said.

Gibson said that there were regular meetings with faculty during the planning and design of the building. “We started meeting with the architects [Ellenzweig] in December 2006,” Gibson said. Ellenzweig, a local architecture firm, designed the Tang Auditorium in 1992 and renovated Buildings 16 and 56 in the late 90’s.

The parking lot currently located on the construction site will stay open until Apr. 1, according to May. “That parking lot is no longer going to exist,” and will be replaced by parking space in the new Sloan building, Gibson said. Gibson said that people who park at the proposed site have started using the parking lots in the basement of Stata.

The food trucks on the proposed location will be moved at the end of March to Carlton Street, next to the MIT Medical building, according to Gibson.