139 Main Street139 Main Street, Cambridge, MA
Themes: Innovation and collaboration
Renovation and renewal
While preserving the architectural elements of this historic structure, MIT prepared 139 Main Street – once home to the Red Cross – to support the innovation companies of today.
Themes and priorities
The renovation of 139 Main Street, formerly the home of the local chapter of the Red Cross, brought an historic structure into the modern world while maintaining its significant architectural elements. Original brick walls were maintained and rebuilt to ensure structural integrity, the foundation was repaired, and ceilings and beams were exposed. The design is intended to preserve the traditional nature of an industrial creative building while bringing it into the modern era. Brick, wood, glass, and steel are emphasized but modernized with new building management and HVAC systems, open floor plans, and upgraded amenity spaces.
The building is configured with nine suites to promote collaboration and attract tenants that support the Kendall Square innovation ecosystem. These spaces, which range in size and lease duration, are thoughtfully built to better enable reconfiguration of the building as tenant needs change. Additionally, the tenants’ spaces will be fully built out upon completion, enabling tenants to move in right away, further supporting growing companies. A progressive design was pursued to promote tenant collaboration and to maximize space utilization. Each floor contains a common kitchenette and coffee bar as well as multiple shared conference rooms. Additionally, 25% of the top floor, including the entire roof deck, is shared space for all tenants. This includes open work space, a kitchenette, and a large board room.