Volpe Parcel Redevelopment

Collaborators: Participated with Reed Hilderbrand 

Role: Primary Landscape Designer 

Status: Master Plan On-Going / December 2022 Target Completion of New Building

Location: Cambridge, MA

Learn More:  ▶︎MIT GSA Collaboration  

                       ▶︎Volpe Zoning Approval  

                       ▶︎USDOT New Building and Landscape Design

In 2017, MIT has made an unprecedented real-estate exchange in both scale and impact with U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), aiming to redevelop the current Volpe National Transportation Systems Center Campus. MIT has promised to deliver a brand new building for the Volpe Center and will ultimately acquire most of the parcel. MIT determines to turn the federally owned 14-acre parcel in Kendall Square into a more vibrant mixed-use site that will benefit MIT’s mission and the Cambridge community.​ Reed Hilderbrand is on the team with Elkus Manfredi to help advance this master plan process. Shown below are studies exploring different urban design and open space configurations, and suitable programs for the public realm. 

The USDOT Volpe New Building is a new 400,000 square foot office building designed by SOM New York, located on a 4-acre parcel at the corner of Loughrey Way and Binney Street. The new facility consolidates six existing buildings and surface parking lots into an efficient structure with underground parking and over 100 bicycle parking spaces. The new facility will be approximately 217’ in height and incorporates an enclosed, architecturally-integrated mechanical penthouse to minimize visual and noise pollution. It is designed to meet LEED Gold v.4 standards, with prioritization of sustainability, and oriented to maximize energy efficiency. Reed Hilderbrand was commissioned to plan the new site and design its landscape. With more than 1/2 of the property as landscape, our concept of “Building in a Park” will provide active and passive spaces for both the public and employees. The landscape will feature over 100 new diverse native species trees at grade with an increase in caliper inches of 40% and incorporates an art piece designed by Maya Lin integrated into the landscape on the east side of the site, adjacent to Fifth Street.

Project information with reference to Volpe MIT Public Project Details. Renderings by Design Distill and Reed Hilderbrand.