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Old Posted Mar 2, 2014, 5:54 AM
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MIT forum presents options for reshaping school’s eastern campus, Kendall Square

MIT’s campus around the Kendall Square T stop could sprout a lush green park and a half-dozen new buildings in the next two decades, according to an urban planning report the institute is readying to comply with a city zoning requirement.

This month, design consultants Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam presented the preliminary results of an East Campus Urban Design Study at a public forum. On Feb. 12, about a month later than scheduled, Scogin and Elam showed off three principal schemes for how buildings might look on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus east of Ames Street and south of Main Street one or two decades into the future as MIT adds 800,000 square feet of development. The schemes included not only the construction of buildings but the potential demolition or removal of some existing buildings.

The presentations included three options for landscaping on the site, presented by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, that could also lead to the removal of buildings to support more developed connections and green space between Kendall Square and the Charles River.

In the urban design study, MIT’s team said their goal was to connect the MBTA red line stop to the campus, something nearly everyone agrees is lacking right now. It is oft-repeated that people emerge from the Kendall T stop and do not know how to find MIT, even though it is right in front of them. MIT’s consultants also want to enhance the connection between Main Street and the Charles River.


Scogin and Elam presented two schemes adding a large building at the site of the current Cambridge Trust, just north of the Kendall T headhouse. “There would be columns,” Scogin said, apologizing for the block-like imagery and the absence of architecture in his sketches. The designs are not of individual buildings, he explained, but rather the possibility of where buildings might go and their general massing.


John Hawkinson
February 28, 2014
NOTE: More on the schematics in the link.
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