BRIDGING CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY As a central component of MIT’s ambitious Kendall Square development, the MIT Site 4 project comprises a new graduate residential tower rising from a complex base, integrating two existing historic buildings and multiple academic programs. While the tower above introduces a new icon within the skyline of Cambridge, the base negotiates the physical and programmatic relationship between “town-and-gown” to activate the site. The building serves as a gateway to a new public open space that punctuates the east entry to the MIT campus.
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Global Future Design Awards 2021
MIT Site 4
Mixed-Use Architecture Built
NADAAA, Design Architect // Perkins + Will, Architect of Record
Cambridge, MA, US.
A BUILDING IN THE ROUND
As a building with no “back,” each facade provides access to the public and private programs: graduate housing, the MIT Welcome Center, a childcare center, the MIT Innovation HQ, the MIT Admissions Department, and retail spaces. These entries engage Main Street, the Kendall Square Gateway, the new Open Space, and Hayward Street. The tower is oriented north/south to allow optimal light onto Main Street as well as to frame views from neighboring buildings towards the Charles River. The tower slab cantilevers over the Open Space, which includes
terraces and children’s play spaces connecting the building’s users to the MIT community and the City of Cambridge.
In addition to committing to LEED V4 Gold Certification, MIT determined that Site 4 should be designed for a 100-year life cycle. This long-term investment led to a robust focus on climate-resilient design, resource sustainability, simplicity of operations and maintenance protocols, and flexible use scenarios.
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