Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was only four years old in 1865 when it offered its first architecture course – the first formal architectural curriculum in the United States and the first architecture programme in the world to operate within a university.
It was 1868 when the first courses were taught, which were based largely on the teachings of the École des Beaux-Arts. A graduate of the famed Paris school, Eugene Letang, was recruited to lead the programme’s design.
In 1932 the school – then known as the School of Architecture – was formally established, becoming the School of Architecture and Planning (SAP) 12 years later.
MIT SAP has long been considered a global academic leader and is regularly named as one of the world’s most prestigious schools – its Department of Architecture came top in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.
SAP played a key role in introducing modernism to the United States in the 20th century, and many progressive modernist and post-modernist buildings have been commissioned by MIT.
The very first buildings constructed at MIT’s Cambridge campus were built of reinforced concrete – the first time the material was used for a nonindustrial building.
The site is now home to many landmark buildings, including: the Baker House dormitory (1947) designed by Alvar Aalto; the MIT Chapel and Kresge Auditorium (both 1955) by Eero Saarinen