MIT Site 3 Street View

SoMa Site 3 Lab Building

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Next Generation of Discovery

Part of MIT’s ambitious South of Main Street (SoMa) Development in the heart of Kendall Square’s innovation hub, this laboratory and office building is designed to attract tenants from small incubator start-ups to global pharma clients. The existing Main Street building’s exterior was restored while the interior was renovated to provide leasable spaces that invite public interaction. Ground-floor retail enlivens the area with restaurants, service, and specialty retail, promoting pedestrian-oriented activities and enhancing MIT’s culture of innovation. A refreshed entry and dynamic lobby link the addition to the restoration.

Set within the sensitive context of Cambridge, the building’s design reinforces the scale and character of its neighborhood and maintains the pedestrian scale of Kendall Square. MIT placed a great deal of importance on the art of placemaking to create ‘spaces for all’ and an authenticity important to maintaining Kendall Square’s identity.

MIT Site 3
The design aesthetic of the project follows the City of Cambridge’s urban design guidelines and highlights the interaction with the public realm.
Front View
As a result of the two rotated masses of the building, the cantilever becomes a roof to the lobby.

The twisted mass provides a dynamic frame to the new outdoor space and diminishes the perceived scale along Main Street. The pivoted structure reveals a recessed 6th floor that creates a living green roof over-looking the public open space.

Massing
A five-story mass sits below a 6-story mass, rotated ninety degrees to create dynamic cantilevers.
Lobby
This laboratory and office building is designed to attract tenants from small incubator start-ups to global pharma clients.
Dusk
Set within the sensitive context of Cambridge, the building’s design reinforces the scale and character of its neighborhood and maintains the pedestrian scale of Kendall Square.
Street View
Hyper-flexible floor plates appeal to a wide range of tenants and accommodate future changes in building function through the strategic use of flexible and efficient building systems.
Fins
Fins on the curtainwall are inspired by the Fibonacci mathematical sequence. They help shade the glass façade and provide a rich texture.
Lobby
The masonry of the existing façade is maintained to provide warmth and to balance the simplicity and modern language of the addition.
Flexible Design Strategies

The 25,000 square foot floorplate responds to market demands and provides flexible space for single or multiple tenants. The lower five-story expression locks the building into the context of the surrounding early 20th century brick and precast manufacturing buildings. The upper six stories dramatically rotate 90 degrees from the base to provide a gateway to new-found open space, reducing the bulk and shadowing along Main Street.

Lab
A Community of Science

Today, a range of science tenants from a world renown pharmaceutical firm to a midterm life science company, and a dynamic incubator startup occupy the building in their own vertical community of science. Each tenant’s space is uniquely designed by Perkins&Will to reflect tenants’ individual missions, science and character. Together, they reflect both the particular and the whole, creating a community of scholars that fits comfortably into the community of Kendall Square, MIT, and Cambridge.

Beam
Staircase

Project Team

People
Bryan Schabel
People
Ralph Johnson
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Robert Brown
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Matthew Pierce
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Andrew Grote
People
Jeffrey R. Zynda