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Landscape Concepts

The 22-acre Arts and Transit Project site will be transformed from an area dominated by daytime administrative uses, former service buildings and surface parking lots into a vibrant park-like setting for the creative and performing arts and multimodal transit center.

2014 Arts site plan-small
Landscape concepts by Michael VanValkenburgh and Associates (click diagram to view larger version).

The completed site will be characterized by extensive landscaped plazas, pathways, streetscapes and green spaces that will improve the site's environmental quality as well as provide beautiful park spaces for the community's enjoyment. The park-like landscape will integrate the variety of existing and new building and landscape styles and scales, while making all areas accessible on a hilly site that presents many topographical challenges. (The grade slopes 45 feet from north to south and 12 feet east to west.)

The landscape plan is an integral component of the project's sustainability plan. Key strategies include:

  • Reducing impervious areas with porous paving materials and increasing green spaces.
  • Integrating stormwater management within the landscape through green roofs and biofiltration swales that filter and capture stormwater on site.
  • Using landscaping in parking lots and along roadways to reduce the heat reflection from pavement.
  • Promoting water conservation through rainwater harvesting and re-use.

New green areas in the Arts and Transit Project site will include:

  • Additional street trees and a landscaped roundabout on Alexander Street that will transform its role from a "back door" into a major gateway into the town and campus.
  • A tree-canopied pedestrian walkway that will extend University Place to the Dinky Station and the commuter parking lot and will be lined by restaurants, cafés, performing arts venues, an arts plaza with a large reflecting pool and a transit plaza with multimodal transit stops, a new station with passenger amenities as well as the Wawa.
  • Opportunities for public art and performances.
  • New landscaped spaces with sitting areas between University Place and the academic buildings and between Alexander Street and the transit plaza.
  • New pedestrian and bike pathways to connect the neighborhood to the community and campus.
  • Site lighting in plazas and parking areas and along pathways.
canopy of trees over pathway
pedestrians in public park
Kendall Square amenities
sculpture displayed in outdoor setting