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New Light Installation Commissioned for MIT Sloan School of Management Main Building

MIT sloan E52When Building E52, the main facility for the MIT Sloan School of Management, reopens after extensive renovations in January 2016, it will feature a new light installation by artist Leo Villareal, the school announced recently.

Villareal, who last year created The Bay Lights on the San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span, was recently awarded an MIT Percent-for-Art commission to create a light installation for MIT’s Building E52. His plans for E52 include a light sculpture in the north vestibule of the building as part of a new, glass-enclosed entrance. The sculpture will feature 240 hanging LED rods – each approximately 9 feet tall with 72 individual LEDs – arranged from the ceiling in rows. As part of the work, Villareal will create a software code programming the LEDs to cycle through a randomly generated series of combinations. Building E52 was built in 1938 as the site of the Lever Brothers company headquarters. It was closed in September 2013 for two years of scheduled renovations, including the addition of an expanded MIT Faculty Club and conference space, as well as a new seventh floor and a glass enclosure. “We are renovating a historic building, and it was art déco in its original form,” Cindy Hill, MIT Sloan’s director of capital projects, said in an article on the school’s website. “I think we’ll have some of that look going on when it’s done.”

Hill added that the building’s exterior will be preserved, but that it will be completely repaired and cleaned and new windows will be added. There will be interior style changes – including new walls, floors and ceilings – but the two main staircases and the elevators will remain in the original locations, she added.

For the duration of the renovations, many MIT Sloan administrative offices and the MIT Department of Economics have been temporarily relocated to other campus locations. All student-facing MIT Sloan faculty will return to the building once renovations are complete. The former MIT Faculty Club space will be expanded and renovated as a campus conference center, which fill the building’s sixth floor and a new seventh-floor addition with a glass-encased rooftop. The center will be available to all members of the MIT community for meetings, events, banquets and conferences.

In total, nearly 20,000 square feet of space will be added to the 135,000-square-foot building. Adjoining Building E62, home to the Joan and William A. Porter Center for Management Education, already has a second-story bridge, which will connect to E52 once construction is done. “It will be wonderful to start using that,” Hill said. “It will be easy to get from classes in E51 to E62.”

Learn more about Building E52’s planned light installation and ongoing renovation.