Cambridge, MIT, June 2014

reflection

mirror wall at mit  (sonya kovacic)

mirror wall at mit (sonya kovacic)

When the John Hancock Tower was completed in 1976, it was praised as an achievement in modern architecture. The building's reflective window panes – 10,344 in all – were designed to mirror the city's changing colors and weather patterns. It's been described as Boston's "architectural mood ring". 

The tower not only reflects the sky, but also its neighbors: the Trinity Church, the Copley Plaza, and Boston's two original John Hancock Buildings. Built in 1922 and 1947, the two "Old Hancocks" stand just across the street from the newer skyscraper. As architect Donlyn Lyndon explains:

"If you stand on the corner of Clarendon Street and St. James Avenue and look directly into the mirrored surface of the third Hancock, you will see reflected there the first two, aligned hierarchically in an ethereal family portrait."


Cambridge-based filmmaker Errol Morris has won dozens of awards for his documentaries, including an Oscar in 2004. His signature interview style – most recently seen in The Unknown Known – is due in part to a clever device involving two-way mirrors. He calls it the Interrotron.