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

Cambridge, MA

Client

Van Noorden Architectural Metalwork

Completion

2003
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yin/Yang Pavilion at Simmons Hall
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yin/Yang Pavilion at Simmons Hall
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.

Scope | Solutions

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 

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