Tang Residence Hall, 1970
A twenty-four-story high-rise graduate residence located along the suite of housing facilities on Memorial Drive, Tang Residence Hall (Building W84) is Hugh Stubbins Jr.’s follow-up to his earlier project, Westgate Apartments (Building W85).
While insufficient funding prevented the construction of the second tower of the family housing complex in the 1960s, a generous donation from the family of MIT alumnus and textile manufacturer Tang Ping Yuan (class of 1923) enabled Stubbins to design another residence tower adjacent to Westgate while setting itself apart. Its striking height and all-concrete cladding stood in contrast to the Westgate tower’s mixed use of concrete and brick. The corners of each floor are chamfered, or flattened out, to maximize window space and provide sweeping views of the Charles River and Boston skyline.
Hugh Stubbins Jr. (1912–2006) was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1932 and Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1935. In 1939, Walter Gropius invited Stubbins to become his assistant at Harvard, where Stubbins worked and taught until 1954, succeeding Gropius as chair of the architecture department in 1953. He founded his own architectural firm, Hugh Stubbins and Associates (now KlingStubbins), in 1949.
Stubbins is recognized for both his major metropolitan projects—including the Citigroup Center in New York, Berlin Congress Hall, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the Landmark Tower in Yokohama—and his educational complexes for secondary and higher education campuses across the US. Other notable cultural and educational projects include the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California; Countway Library of Medicine, Boston; Pusey Library and Loeb Drama Center at Harvard University; and the University of Virginia Law School. Stubbins was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Academician of the National Academy of Design.