The Engine lobby with wood and matte black lacquer details. A person walking in a room with a large screen. A group of people in a lab. A man and a woman working in a factory. A group of people sitting at a table with laptops. A group of people sitting at tables. A group of people in a room. A group of people sitting at a table with chairs and a large window.
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The Engine at MIT

Cambridge, Massachusettes

Launched in 2016 by MIT, the mission of The Engine is to connect leaders in the Tough Tech ecosystem and foster a community that drives scientific innovation. Featuring cutting-edge equipment for lab work, fabrication, and engineering — all under one roof — the new sciences headquarters plays a key role in advancing its goal to accelerate discovery at a global scale.

Created through the redesign of a 100-year-old building, The Engine is entirely unique in its ability to support a range of multidisciplinary sciences and to grow alongside its inhabitants, enabled by an agile design. Workspaces were designed using a series of small, medium, and large modules specialized for a variety of needs, including chemistry and biology labs, maker space workshops, and offices. On the ground floor, oversized display screens are designed to engage with the community, while glass-framed meeting rooms and a large, flexible event space accommodate the need for private settings.

Shared resources are organized around “The Avenue,” an open path of circulation that anchors each floor and facilitates greater cross-collaboration and mentorship between groups within the Tough Tech ecosystem. These amenities, including cafes, meeting rooms, and informal collaboration areas, are connected by a communicating stair that encourages vertical circulation.