Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yin/Yang Pavilion at Simmons Hall


The Yin/Yang Pavilion, a sculpture designed by Dan Graham, is located on the second floor terrace of Simmons Hall at MIT.  The curving sculpture, constructed from 7 ft high panels of laminated two-way mirror glass, rests in a reflecting pool on one side and gravel on the other. As a requirement of their contract, the steel fabricator called upon SGH to provide structural engineering services for the sculpture.

SGH provided structural calculations to verify the performance of the sculpture supported with stainless steel bars and posts.  Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Performed finite element analyses of the glass and the supporting stainless steel to compute stresses in the sculpture
  • Determined design wind loads on the sculpture based on a review of the wind tunnel study and ASCE-7
  • Conducted a thermal analysis to study the effects of temperature on the glass during installation and provided recommendations

Project Summary



Completion Date
New Construction
Structures | Advanced Analysis
Van Noorden Architectural Metalwork
Specialized Capabilities
Computational Mechanics

Key team members

James Parker
James Parker
Chief Executive Officer