The Evolution of Kendall Square

Insight Construction Design

Kendall Square is a very different place than it once was. While some may say that its less of a true downtown (like Central or Harvard Square) than it could have been, it has certainly been an economic and tax engine for the City of Cambridge. It also gets a little better every year, with added housing and retail and other interesting uses (although some of us still miss a bit of the grit and grime and, in particular, the old F&T diner)…

Our Studio’s Functional Art

Design Inspiration Studio

As part of our furniture acquisition for our new office, we decided to incorporate a bit of our culture, our sketches, and our connection to a special client…all while creating functional, one-of-a-kind furniture for our kitchen café…

1550 Main Street Lauded by BOMA Mid-Atlantic

Insight Design Inspiration

1550 Main Street, designed by Arrowstreet, was awarded The Outstanding Building of the Year distinction by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) for the second consecutive year in a row. The former federal office building, owned MassDevelopment, was renovated as part of a strategy to help revitalize downtown Springfield, MA. Working together with MassDevelopment and the City of Springfield, Arrowstreet designed a comprehensive package of exterior and interior building renovations to convert the building into Class-A commercial offices with ground floor retail uses. In addition, Arrowstreet redesigned the central plaza to improve circulation and its position as a meeting place on Main Street.

ULI Boston TAP in Westborough

Design

On June 17th I will be chairing ULI’s Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) for the Town of Westborough to explore development opportunities for the site of the old Westborough State Hospital and advise the town on potential future uses. The day will include a site tour, stakeholder interviews, a planning charrette, and a public presentation of our findings at 6:30 pm.

Yet another Tenant Space Completed

Design

NGIN Workplace, located in 2 Cambridge Place in Kendall Square, is a shared incubator space for entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and telecommuting employees. BioMed Realty Trust, owner of the building, approached Arrowstreet to create a 15,600-sf turnkey space for this innovative tenant. Designed to exude NGIN’s brand and core mission, there are a variety of huddle zones for team collaboration, bump areas where members can casually interact, and flexible meeting rooms with movable partitions and flat screen monitors. Neighborhoods throughout the workspace are divided by clear partitions to allow each company to have its own dedicated space, yet still be

A Milestone for Parcel K

Design

I am pleased to announce the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s recent approval of the proposed concept design for Parcel K, a mixed-use residential and hotel development in the Innovation District. A handsome addition to the neighborhood, the development will enhance the streetscape activity along Northern Avenue and perpetuate the spirited night life and energy that’s been started by venues like the adjacent Liberty Wharf and Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

New Tenant Space at 2 Cambridge Place

Design

As part of our ongoing work with BioMed Realty Trust, they asked us to create a 6,000-sf turnkey space for the high-tech company AdHarmonics at 2 Cambridge Place. With a vibrant color palette, the playful design expresses the company’s cutting-edge brand and culture. Attractive and ergonomic desks and furniture allow employees the flexibility to sit or stand when working. Various huddle spaces promote collaboration and teamwork, and a communal kitchen fosters camaraderie. This space is just one of several designs Arrowstreet has helped bring to life at 210 Broadway including the open and attractive lobby and outdoor courtyard.

130 Brookline Receives Preservation Award

Design

The Cambridge Historical Commission gave an award to MIT and its team for the preservation of 130 Brookline Street, a 1927 masonry building with generously over-sized windows. It was once known as the Chicago Auto Building, but had been long-neglected. The awards program celebrates outstanding efforts to preserve Cambridge’s historic character and built environment…

Community Strategies for Sustainable Development

Insight Design People

As a participant on the BSA’s Committee for the Advancement of Sustainability, I wanted to share some information about a free forum on June 19th. The committee promotes a sustainable agenda beyond the immediate focus of architectural practice, and engages other organizations in a dialogue that promotes sustainable principles. This year our task has been to organize a forum which will focus on empowering municipalities across Massachusetts to develop sustainable strategies for buildings, infrastructure, and planning…

East Boston Public Library
in the Globe

Design

If you read the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe this past weekend, you may have come across the article about the new East Boston branch of the Boston Public Library. Arrowstreet Graphic Design served as the environmental graphics consultant to William Rawn Associates. We designed the engraved pavers, mentioned in the article, along with the interpretive panels in the library’s stormwater garden. I attended the opening of the library with my family this past November where my son examined the finished product. Thankfully, it passed inspection.

Parcel K Discussed at District Hall

Construction Design

Last night, Arrowstreet and Conroy Development had an engaging presentation and discussion about the new mixed-use development on MassPort’s Parcel K, which will provide new residences and a hotel for visitors to the Innovation District. In addition, the project will contribute to the Innovation District’s mission to accommodate micro-residential units and flex office space, complimented by restaurants and retail, all serviced by the adjacent Silver Line. The support for the program and the building’s aesthetic is encouraging and we look forward to further public discussions as the project develops.

Brooklyn Boulders in Fast Company

Design Inspiration

Congratulations to our friends at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville! Their innovative merger of a rock climbing gym and collaborative workspace has landed in the pages of Fast Company. Brooklyn Boulders has inspired us with their unique vision and tenacious drive, and we celebrate their continued success!

Holiday Ugly Sweater Competition

Design Studio
Jon Neal and Caroline Feran with our incredibly ugly sweater
Jon Neal and Caroline Feran with our incredibly ugly sweater

What’s the best part about the winter holidays? The food, you say? The family? The snow? The decorations? No, no, no – of course not. It’s the ugly sweaters you get to wear! This year, Kimball Office very kindly invited our interior design department to participate in their prestigious ‘Holiday Ugly Sweater Contest’ held in conjunction with their annual holiday soiree. With visions of ugly sweater grandeur and dreams of glory, we were unable to resist the allure of the challenge…

3D Model Competition
at ABX

Design Studio

While attending ABX this week, I had a chance to stop by NRI’s booth and take a look at the three contenders for their 3-D printed model contest. It was great to see what had previously only been an image on-screen turn into an actual physical object I could touch, turn, and pick up. While all three entries were visually interesting, we’re all hopeful that the crowd liked ours the best – we expect to hear back with a final count sometime in the next few days.

3-D Printed Models at ABX

Design Studio

Among all of the other interesting things that will be going on at the Architecture Boston Expo (ABX) this week, National Reprographics (NRI) is holding a 3D-printed model contest as part of the event’s 3D Printing Pavilion. The model contest involved the design of a 5,000-seat performance space on an ambiguous “waterfront” site. It wasn’t a lot to go on as far as real-world design problems go, but that was actually a nice change because it left a lot of details up to the imagination. Once designed, contestants were to submit a digital model file to NRI so that it could be printed for the ABX show…

Marblehead Teen Center Update

Construction Design

A nice update on our work in Marblehead on adding a teen center to their library appeared in the local paper yesterday. As it mentions, we’ve been working with the Abbot Public Library and Marblehead High School for about two and a half years now in both an educational and design role. Check out the article here.

130 Cambridgepark Drive

Design

Arrowstreet is designing a 220-unit residential building and 456-car garage in the Alewife Triangle District, convenient to the young professionals and families employed at the adjacent and surrounding office buildings. Organized around three intimate private courtyards, the building features one- and two-bedroom units, studios, and “innovation”-style micro-units. A striking, colorful metal panel creates a noticeable corner for the building, which is set back from the street. The adjacent garage features fabric panel “fins” jutting out perpendicular from the building to screen the garage from a side view and create a bright, bold identity.

New Lobby at 210 Broadway

Insight Design

As part of the work Bob had told you about and Mike had elaborated on, we also renovated BioMed’s entrance lobby at 210 Broadway. We had a dual purpose in this renovation: first, to reinforce the sense of openness and connection to the courtyard and outside; and second, to accommodate a number of unusual (and beautiful) art pieces. We chose modern, light-colored finishes to draw the eye to the dramatic sculptural pieces and paintings, which are part of a rotating exhibit from the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. The tree silhouettes from the glass courtyard also continue into the space, visually linking the lobby and courtyard.

Dynamic Seating at the 210 Broadway Courtyard

Insight Design

Last week Bob shared the story of creating the glass tree silhouettes for BioMed’s new courtyard at 210 Broadway; I wanted to point out another feature of this new space – namely, the seating. To continue the theme of a transition between indoor and outdoor space, we wanted to create seating that seemed to flow in a natural, fluid way up from the floor…

“Tree-Lined” Courtyard at 210 Broadway

Insight Design

I’m happy to share these new photos of the courtyard at 210 Broadway in Cambridge. Our client, BioMed Realty, asked us to update the courtyard and lobby of this building, recently acquired as part of their Kendall Square biotech portfolio. With the courtyard, we wanted to create a space that transitioned between “outside” and “inside”, making the building feel more open and adding dimension to the streetscape. After looking at a number of different options with the client, we settled on the concept adding glass panels that feature trees, calling to mind the shady, tree-lined streets of the surrounding Cambridge neighborhood…

Quirks of 3-D Printing

Design Inspiration

Arrowstreet is currently designing a unique private residence in India – a Georgian-style estate with some traditional Indian motifs incorporated. At the same time, we’re experimenting with in-office 3-D printing. What better way to combine these two things, we asked ourselves, than by 3-D printing some interesting details of the residence…

Mount Equinox

Insight Design Inspiration

I took a vacation last year to a site with no easy way in or out: Mount Equinox‘s Skyline Drive holds the record for the longest paved private road at 5.2 miles. While it’s not open year round, the drive is a pretty amazing vantage for views of most of New England and the Adirondacks. It’s a pretty crazy drive, full of hairpin turns and mirrors to see what’s coming ahead of you. I always find my knuckles are white and my nerves higher than normal after driving down, and I can’t even imagine what that trip must have been

Salem Fire Department Renovation

Insight Design

Recently, Kristen Barrow and I traveled to Salem for a project on the historic North Street Fire Station. Built in 1881, the fire station has seen some significant wear over the years, and the City of Salem is hoping to repair the station to its former state. We spent the day examining the building and taking field measurements for drawings and further studies. Although the station has an undeniable historic charm, we found a variety of issues that need to be addressed. The elaborate 1881 brick and cornice work has begun to fall apart, and despite the fact that

Micro-units and Urban Living

Insight Design

Earlier this past spring, I attended a lecture given by The Center for Real Estate and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) entitled “Micro-Housing: Rethinking Urban Living.” As the third event in the Building Boston 2030 series, the lecture was co-sponsored by Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School and the GBREB, and comprised a robust, well informed panel including the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Chief Planner Kairos Shen.

Anyone in or around the design, construction, and real estate development of urban housing in Boston can tell you the current hot topic on the street is micro-units…

Historic Histrionics

Insight Design

As part of the Edward Brooke Mattapan Charter School project, the design team is pursuing the award of historic tax credits that are administered by the National Park Service. That pursuit guided many of the scoping decisions for the renovation and restoration of the combined 1911 and 1959 vintage structures that will house the school. The historic tax credit process is mainly a linear one with required submission and review schedules, but towards the end of our construction document phase we encountered a challenge in that process that tested our agility. The project is largely an adaptive re-use of