Kendall design team assembled

Architecture firms to lead study on Kendall Square development

MIT’s East Campus Steering Committee has selected the next group in charge of advancing the development of the Kendall Square area. The group will collaborate on a study of the property, which will develop into a long-term strategy for development for the area, and in particular the balancing of meeting commercial, residential, and academic needs, according to the MIT News Office.

The two firms leading the urban design team have experience with universities. Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta is currently working on the Yale University Health Services Center, the Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, among projects for other universities. The firm will be leading the team in cooperation with Michael Van Valkenburgh Landscape Architects of Cambridge and New York, the same firm that designed Harvard’s common spaces and is currently working on developing outdoor spaces at Princeton University.

The team will also include urban planner Ken Greenberg for design guidance, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin for transportation analysis, Atelier Ten for environmental design planning, and HR&A Advisors for strategic advisory services, MIT News reported.

The team will carry out an urban design study that will lead to a long-range plan for development that will also balance MIT’s needs for commercial, residential, and academic development. According to MIT’s request for proposal, the study will focus on providing space for new innovation initiatives, both commercial and academic, which will become of increasing importance as MIT recently launched an Institute-wide “Innovation Initiative.” The other priorities include creating a lively urban environment, and establishing a Gateway between MIT, the central business district, and Cambridge. The plan also calls for a plan is feasible and comprehensive — one that “should be financially self-supportive” and also generates tax payments to the city that would allow it to further its objectives of increasing affordable housing units, improving the school system, and maintaining a low residential tax rate. The redevelopment will encompass just under 2 million gross square feet and will likely have a big impact on MIT’s campus lasting well into the century.

The design team will facilitate six community forums in the months to come to gather feedback on the process and progress of the project.

MIT community forums

Thursday, Nov. 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (Room 3-270)

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (Room 32-155)

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (Location TBD)

Cambridge community forums

Thursday, Nov. 14, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (Room 4-153)

Thursday, Dec. 12, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (Room 56-154)

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (Location TBD)