Baker House

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Location: Cambridge, MA

Total GSF: 126,000 GSF

Completed: 2002


Baker House is one of the seminal Modern buildings in North America, and is one of only two buildings Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed for the United States. A comprehensive restoration, combined with selective upgrades and additions, anticipates another fifty years of active student life. New programmatic insertions and integrated building systems accommodate contemporary needs while retaining the original design. 

The Baker House Renovation offers a unique opportunity to revisit the building’s original design. Aalto’s approach is integrative, with design and sustainable elements working interchangeably. Natural light fills the dining room from a grid of overhead skylights, and each student room has a window with a view of the Charles River. New insulated glazing allows these original features to operate more efficiently without altering their character, and a new roof terrace gives shape to an unrealized portion of Aalto’s design.


Photography © Christopher Johnson Architectural Photography