Construction to revamp Metropolitan Warehouse commences

The Warehouse will accommodate School of Architecture and Planning as well as new design Academy

Construction activities are scheduled to begin for the redevelopment of the Metropolitan (Met) Warehouse (Building W41) in June. 

The revamped Warehouse is intended to serve as a home for the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), and will house “classrooms, design studios, research spaces, faculty offices, and areas for meetings and collaborative activities” according to Laurie Verner, Communications Coordinator for the MIT Department of Facilities. 

The space will also contain the new MIT Morningside Academy for Design — supported by a $100 million founding gift — and “create a location for the largest community-wide maker space on campus managed by Project Manus.” The projected completion time for the project is Summer 2025. 

The Met Warehouse was originally constructed in 1895, and is listed on the State Register of Historic Places; it has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the website detailing the project. The building is visible from Vassar street, and is an iconic feature of the Central square area. 

The renovation of the Warehouse will “endeavor to preserve the building’s historic character while leveraging and valorizing its existing spaces and infrastructure to serve the needs of current and future programming,” according to the website. 

The building will feature new floor platforms to provide high-bay program space and allow natural light to penetrate core building areas. A recurrent theme in the renovations is the “strategic integration of old and new.”

The Morningside Academy for Design, first announced by President L. Rafael Reif in March, was established through a gift from the philanthropic arm of the T.H. Chan family. It aims to administer academic research programs across MIT, particularly between SA+P and the School of Engineering. The academy will “strengthen MIT’s ongoing efforts to tackle pressing issues of global importance, such as climate adaptation, public health, transportation, and civic engagement,” according to MIT News

Given its broad-ranging goals, the Morningside Academy will include funding for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, faculty chairs, opportunities for undergraduate students, and new awards for entrepreneurship competitions. The academy will also aim to engage with a broader community, offering an array of public events like symposia, lectures, and exhibitions. 

Details about the construction of the Warehouse can be found on the Capital Projects website, which features plan details, maps, and periodic news and video updates of progress.