The building is to be developed in its upper floors as an office building geared toward the types of innovative technology firms associated with Kendall Square. In addition, the ground level of the building will be transformed from a structure meant to keep people away to a welcoming series of storefronts and landscaped spaces that will serve the neighborhood and the building occupants. A residential entry on Third Street will provide access to the 24 housing units on the second, third, and fourth above-ground levels.
The lower floors will be distinct in the size and pattern of their windows with two shades of masonry to differentiate the residential and office facades, which will be primarily vision glass.
Where the existing site has high concrete planters to keep people away from the building, the proposed low planters, seat walls, and stepping walks will occur at a pedestrian-friendly scale. The stepping lawn terrace on Spring Street will offer an amenity to occupants and visitors to the building, a place to sit and read a book or meet a friend. The paths leading to the lobby of the building and the lobby itself will be open to the public and will encourage activity. New trees and terrace plantings will be added to beautify the neighborhood and reduce wind effects around the site.
The architectural style of the current structure could be described as Brutalism, a style often used in government buildings from the 1950s to the 1970s that is typically concrete and fortress-like and does not relate well to a pedestrian scale. The tall concrete planters around the perimeter of the current ground level create an unwelcoming pedestrian experience, while many of the trees on the site are in poor condition.
**Please Note: An updated traffic study that reflects the revised plans will be posted when available.
A thorough traffic study was completed and indicates the project can be accommodated within the existing area infrastructure. The study also found that there will be a small, but negligible, impact on traffic wait times (5-15 seconds) in most scenarios. The City of Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department confirmed that most traffic will use First Street to exit and egress the area and the project should not change the amount of cut through traffic. Additional information about traffic can be found in the full report conducted by Vanasse & Associates, Inc, available on this website under the Information & Plans section.
**Please Note: An updated wind study that reflects the revised plans will be posted when available.
Wind Studies are conducted using mean wind speed criteria to assess levels of comfort (same method used in Boston by BRA). The criteria are expressed in terms of benchmarks for the 1-hour mean wind speed exceeded 1% of the time (i.e. the 99 percentile mean wind speed).
Comfortable for Sitting: ≤ 12 mph
Comfortable for Standing: > 12 and ≤ 15 mph
Comfortable for Walking: > 15 and ≤ 19mph
Uncomfortable for Walking: > 19 and ≤ 27mph
Dangerous Conditions: > 27mph
The results above show the comparison of the existing condition to "Configuration 1" (which represents the current design proposed).
The study involved wind simulations on a 1:300 scale model of the proposed building and surroundings. Additional information about wind can be found in the full report conducted by RWDI Consulting Engineers, available on this website under the Information & Plans section.
The development will include 92 parking spaces on-site and below grade. 24 of those spaces will be dedicated for the residences. An additional 420 parking spaces will be leased from the City of Cambridge at the First Street Garage, if approved. Resident/permit parking spaces in the area are the domain of the City of Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and they should be contacted with questions.