Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Stata Centre at MIT

Down the road from Harvard is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT as it’s widely known. A stark contrast to Harvard, MIT spreads out among 168 acres that extend more than a mile along the Cambridge side of the Charles River Basin.

MIT is home to one the most unique, and weird, pieces of architecture, the Ray and Maria Stata Centre, designed by Frank Gehry. Now, the first time I saw a photo of this building was in Scott Kelby’s portfolio and I thought it was totally weird then. I was thinking that it would be a cool building to shoot, but it didn’t register with me at the time exactly where the building was, and then I put it out of my mind.

Skip forward to our trip to Boston last year… after the 9 hour drive we were relaxing in our hotel and I was flipping through one of those local city magazines that you usually find in hotel rooms. By complete fluke, I came across a photo of the same building and the article indicating that it was on the MIT campus, a short subway ride from our hotel. Needless to say it immediately went on my “must shoot” list before we left Boston. I love the sharp lines and the contrast between the brickwork and metallic facade. It's a truly unique building, like most Frank Gehry designs.

I spent over two hours walking in and around the building. My first pass was just walking around doing a visual survey to get a sense of the entire building and thinking about how I wanted to shoot it. I also knew that I wouldn’t be back there for some time so I wanted to make sure that I got as much as I could.



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