Kendall Square at MIT – Site 4, Buildings E37, E38290-292 Main Street, Cambridge, MA
Themes: Innovation and collaboration
Renovation and renewal
Enhancement of life and learning
Construction is complete on a Kendall Square project that brings new graduate student housing to the area as well as a lively innovation center, mixed-use retail, and a new home for MIT Admissions.
Themes and priorities
Responding to the need for additional graduate student housing, MIT embarked on a project in Kendall Square that addresses this need and also creates a vibrant new innovation center as well as a new home for Admissions.
The Site 4 project incorporates two existing buildings on Main Street. E38 has been completely renovated to accommodate ground-floor retail space and the Admissions offices on the second floor. Above these, the building’s five upper floors have been transformed into a new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub: open, multi-use spaces for student makers and entrepreneurs, researchers, and staff, and a new home for the MIT Innovation Initiative.
Next door, E39 has been renovated to include ground-floor retail and two floors of academic office space, with program space on the third floor for three sustainability groups: the Office of Sustainability (MITOS), the Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI), and the Abdul Latif Jameel Water & Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS). The E39 renovation also includes a tower providing 454 housing units (2-bedroom, 1-bedroom, and efficiencies) for MIT graduate students. The housing tower is anchored by a three-level podium housing a childcare facility, common space for the residents, and an active community and academic space – the Forum – featuring a 200-seat auditorium and movable walls for flexibility in configuration.
In a variety of ways, Site 4 is designed to serve as a bridge between the MIT campus and the City of Cambridge. The entire ground floor of the Forum features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a view of the activity within. When not serving to introduce student applicants to the campus, the Forum will be available to other MIT groups and to the broader Cambridge community. Along its southern side, Site 4 will border a welcoming open space designed to encourage pedestrian traffic, providing trees, landscaping, and seating as well as space for special and seasonal events.
Given its location, the Site 4 project will help power the exchange of ideas by situating MIT problem solvers among industry innovators, and its active ground floor uses are expected to create a dynamic and engaging environment that will add vitality to Kendall Square and MIT’s east campus.
Site 4 has access to underground parking developed as part of the Kendall Square project and will provide long-term and short-term bicycle parking. It is targeting LEED v4 Gold certification.
- Graduate student residence tower providing approx. 454 units including family units (units include 2-bedroom, 1-bedroom, and efficiencies); tower façade largely clad in bronzed anodized aluminum panels
- Graduate tower anchored by 3-level “Podium” that provides a host of common areas including quiet study spaces, a family lounge, a playroom, terraces, and multipurpose rooms, as well as The Forum and childcare center mentioned below
- New home for MIT Admissions, including a reception area, expansive gathering spaces, meeting rooms, and offices for staff and the dean
- Program space on the third floor of E39 for three sustainability groups: the Office of Sustainability (MITOS), the Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI), and the Abdul Latif Jameel Water & Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS)
- 200-seat auditorium (The Forum) with floor-to-ceiling windows and movable walls for flexible configuration; its shared programmable space can be used for presentations by Admissions, other MIT groups, or the broader Cambridge community
- New childcare center serving the entire MIT community, offering care for toddlers and preschoolers, adjacent to an outdoor playground area shared with the residents
- Top five floors of E38 restored and transformed into the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub, with open, multiuse spaces for student makers and entrepreneurs, researchers, and staff, and a new home for the MIT Innovation Initiative
- Façades of E38 and E39 repaired and improved for better thermal performance; E38 surface restored to recall the original cast-in-place concrete façade; E39 brick repointed as necessary
- Ground level retail space offering a mix of uses to encourage active engagement during the day and on evenings and weekends
- Open space to create pedestrian links and provide trees, landscaping, and seating, as well as space for special and seasonal events
- Six-level underground parking garage located below the graduate student tower and adjacent open space; includes short- and long-term bicycle parking spaces
Sustainable Design Elements
- Restoration and reuse of existing buildings
- Facades of E38 and E39 repaired and improved for better thermal performance
- New, energy efficient windows in both buildings that will recall the original historic windows in proportion, detail, color and character
- Ample bicycle parking spaces
- Targeting LEED v4 Gold Certification
Prioritization of systems that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while benefitting occupant comfort and providing reliability and ease of maintenance, including:
- Variable frequency drives for hot and chilled water loops
- Valance units within the residential units
- Heat recovery devices in the dedicated outside air units serving the residences
- Enhanced heat recovery effectiveness for air handling units serving non-residential areas
- Enhanced lighting power density and lighting controls
- Low-flow shower heads for residential and non-residential areas which not only reduce water consumption but also reduce demand on the Domestic Hot Water service, resulting in energy savings