Lobby 7 Design Competition

The public face of MIT is 77 Massachusetts Avenue. The building, with its imposing Ionic porch and lofty interior, is not only an architectural landmark in its own right, but also the gateway to the world of MIT. Officially titled the William Barton Rogers Lobby, but more popularly called Lobby 7, the space was designed by William Welles Bosworth as the culminating element of the campus that he designed and that was built in 1916.

Unfortunately, ever since its completion in 1939, the four plinths that define the corners of the great rotunda have remained empty; they were originally intended as the bases for statues celebrating Aristotle, Ictinus, Archimedes and Callicrates.

This year, in celebration of MIT's 150th anniversary, the Class of 1954 issued a grand challenge to the students of MIT to present ideas about how to fill the four Lobby 7 plinths. Designs were to be created in the spirit of MIT's official creed mens et manus and to celebrate the past, present and future spirit of MIT innovation. 

The competition received fifty-four student entries from across the Institute's schools and departments and of those, fourteen entries were chosen to compete for one of two $10K Grand Prizes and two second and third prizes. The winners of that first round were then invited to refine their projects and from these, the jury selected the six finalists, and the prize winners, in the undergraduate and graduate categories. 

This exhibition of the finalists was organized by the Lobby 7 Design Competition Committee, which extends its thanks to the Class of 1954 for sponsorship of the exhibition, and, for assistance, to the MIT School of Architecture + Planning and the MIT Museum.

Class of 1954
President Joseph Scheller
Class President Emeritus Paul E. Gray, President Emeritus of MIT
Vice Presidents, Reunion Co-Chairmen Joseph Blake and Harvey Steinberg
Vice Presidents Alexander Dreyfoos, Ronald Kurtz and Dominick Sama

Lobby 7 Design Competition Committee

Mark Jarzombek '86, Chair
Ellen T. Harris '54 H
Joseph Blake '54
Harvey Steinberg '54
Paul E. Gray '54
Sherwin Greenblatt '62
Joseph Scheller '54
Jeffrey Newton
Philip Clay
L. Raphael Reif
Philip Khoury
Nader Tehrani
Caroline A. Jones
Gary Van Zante
Harry Ellenzweig
Richard Bertman '60

Lobby 7 Design Competition Jury Mark Jarzombek '86, Chair
Caroline A. Jones
Harry Ellenzweig
Harvey Steinberg '54
Richard Bertman '60
Nader Tehrani
J. Meejin Yoon