Landworks Studio: The open space concept for NorthPoint Parcel N in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a 20 story residential tower, was to optimize synergies between private development and deficiencies in public realm connectivity surrounding the site. The project’s two major additions to the public realm – an elevated pedestrian park and stair and a half acre central green – accomplish that. The elevated park and stair serve as a pedestrian gateway to the NorthPoint area and provide connections to the MBTA train lines. This new elevated park connection is composed of lush green walls along the parking garage and an undulating landscape ribbon that move from the street through the park and down the pedestrian stair. Cross paths end in seating nodes and breaks in the stairs’ handrails allow access to planted landings for rest stops along the way. The stair incorporates a ramp for bicyclists to wheel their bikes up and down, encouraging another mode of transportation.
As the stair and ribbon meet the central green below, linear patterns in the ground plane extend and become part of a larger pedestrian plaza. This plaza acts as a front door to the NorthPoint building as well as to future buildings that will frame the park. The public plaza and central green feature gathering spaces for pedestrians or groups under a flowering tree canopy and on three gently sloping grass mounds. The mounds move through the park as large sculptural forms, while also providing more traditional lawn recreation spaces. The undulating form of the ribbon rises in places to allow moments for pedestrians to sit along the form’s edge, and slopes down in other moments to encourage access to the landforms themselves.
Project Location: Northpoint, Cambridge, MA
Client: The HYM Investment Group, LLC
Project Type: Public (parks and stair); Private commercial and residential (tower and internal courtyards)
Landscape Architect: Landworks Studio, Inc.
Design Team: Mike Blier, Chris MacFarlane, Suzanne Mathew, Katy Foly, Cass Chroust
Architect: CBT Architects
Construction Manager: John Moriarty & Associates, Inc.
MEP Engineers: Flack & Kurtz
Lightining Consultant: HLB Lighting Design
Green Building Consultant: The Green Engineer
Structural Engineer: Mcnamara/Salvia Inc.
Geotechnical: Haley & Aldrich
Environmental Consultants: VERTEX
Civil Engineers: Beals + Thomas
Site Area: 2.7 acres (includes building parcel, but not temporary parking)
Design Budget: $125,000 USD for Landscape Architecture only
Construction Budget: $1.75 million
Landscape Architect role: Firm’s scope of services and role:
Role: Consultant to Architect lead team