Restoration of the dome of building 7 | MIT Technology Review


The dome of Building 7, designed by William Welles Bosworth to give MIT a large enough entrance onto Mass Ave, was completed in 1939. In 2019, an 80-year check seemed warranted and a study initiated by the Facilities Department found deterioration of the building. exterior and waterproofing. The restoration of the small dome began in July 2020; it includes repairs to masonry, metal flashing and skylights as well as the replacement of the upper roof of building 7 and repairs to the ceiling of hall 7 damaged by water.

A bricklayer at work on the construction of the Little Dome, which was completed in 1939.

MIT FACILITIES DEPARTMENT

Throughout the project, which is due to end this spring, the dome has been protected by a Hakitec building enclosure and scaffolding system. Two brothers who had designed a stump extractor in their father’s smithy workshop in Sweden adapted this technology around 1950 to pull siding panels through channels mounted on a roof truss, creating a waterproof enclosure that can withstand at winds of up to 100 miles per hour.

While it may seem unnecessary, the wooden formwork used to build the original concrete dome was in place on September 21, 1938, when the worst hurricane ever to hit New England struck – and swept it all away, Carl recalled. Peterson, a former director of The Physical Factory at MIT. As William Dickerson 56, who went on to be director of the physical plant, recounted: “He said you could find pieces of the framed dome all over the city of Cambridge when the storm was over, but you wouldn’t. could not find any of the dome frames. on site at the Institute.

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