MIT SoMa Building 2 | 200 Main Street | Kendall Square

Equilibria

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Brad Plaid

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They had it right the first time: sleek, elegant, no gimmicks.
The roof mechs are poorly configured, no connection with the rest of the building at all (like at Vertex in the Seaport). The facade has gone from a smooth skin grid to the industrial girder look that is already dangerously close to wearing out it's welcome in this area. The yellow supports and the glassed-in staircase could work out well but they need refinement and better integration. Overall it's typical Elkus overkill of throwing in too many elements all in competition with each other.
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Equilibria

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They had it right the first time: sleek, elegant, no gimmicks.
The roof mechs are poorly configured, no connection with the rest of the building at all (like at Vertex in the Seaport). The facade has gone from a smooth skin grid to the industrial girder look that is already dangerously close to wearing out it's welcome in this area. The yellow supports and the glassed-in staircase could work out well but they need refinement and better integration. Overall it's typical Elkus overkill of throwing in too many elements all in competition with each other.
View attachment 18901
I'm not sure I agree that the girder look is wearing out its welcome, but the older version is indeed much better.
 

bigpicture7

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I'm not sure I agree that the girder look is wearing out its welcome, but the older version is indeed much better.
The girder look is nowhere near overdone in Kendall and the splash of color is a much-welcome contrast to other area buildings. However, I agree that some of the other design elements are a downgrade. I do appreciate the cafe tables area around the base of the building. Kendall needs more ground level that welcomes the public.
 

Gameguy326

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Oh no, did they get rid of all the cool under-the-cantilever lighting?
 

stick n move

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They had it right the first time: sleek, elegant, no gimmicks.
The roof mechs are poorly configured, no connection with the rest of the building at all (like at Vertex in the Seaport). The facade has gone from a smooth skin grid to the industrial girder look that is already dangerously close to wearing out it's welcome in this area. The yellow supports and the glassed-in staircase could work out well but they need refinement and better integration. Overall it's typical Elkus overkill of throwing in too many elements all in competition with each other.
View attachment 18901
100%, a clean sophisticated design doesnt need yellow zigzag trusses or any of that other jazz. Less is always more when done right.
 

stefal

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I think the ventilation/roof mech is the worst offender - it looks un-designed. I welcome the girder look; this area needs something like that - every building put up as of recent in Kendall doesn't express its structure. The smoothness of the facade is almost a no-go nowadays if you want any kind of sustainability points (which MIT is definitely in for), so unless Elkus is able to develop new daylighting systems that still result in a clean and smooth facade and something that interior users will be fine with, you're going to end up with the texture above.

I also find it hard to believe the staircase and interior of that occupiable column will be that visible during the day time as that render suggests - I'm noticing Elkus has been exaggerating some/select things in their renders as of recent. But the opposition between the stairs and the bracing isn't the most elegant solution, and if it is visible, it's not a great showpiece.
 

Brad Plaid

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Elkus can pull it off in non-lab work (Alcott, new BU theater) but their labs more often than not are uninspired lumps (see most everything they've done in K square). Also they seem to have a limited number of rabbits they are able to pull out of their bag of design tricks. The yellow trusses recall the trusses of the lab currently under construction on Coolidge Ave in Watertown, and the girder look (not real, structural I-beams merely flanges attached to mimic I-beams, see BeeLine's photo below) of 401 Park is showing up here and will likely be the same decorative-not-structural deceit.
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bigpicture7

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...The yellow trusses recall the trusses of the lab currently under construction on Coolidge Ave in Watertown, and the girder look (not real, structural I-beams merely flanges attached to mimic I-beams, see BeeLine's photo below) of 401 Park is showing up here and will likely be the same decorative-not-structural deceit.
Not sure I agree (unless I'm misunderstanding you). I don't think these trusses will seem decorative to most people. There's a key difference here compared to your examples: here there is a HUGE-ass cantilever that looks like it needs to be supported by something. I think most people's mind's-eye is going to naturally conceive the trusses as functional.
 

stefal

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Elkus can pull it off in non-lab work (Alcott, new BU theater) but their labs more often than not are uninspired lumps (see most everything they've done in K square). Also they seem to have a limited number of rabbits they are able to pull out of their bag of design tricks. The yellow trusses recall the trusses of the lab currently under construction on Coolidge Ave in Watertown, and the girder look (not real, structural I-beams merely flanges attached to mimic I-beams, see BeeLine's photo below) of 401 Park is showing up here and will likely be the same decorative-not-structural deceit.
The large-scale renders are rather deceiving of the actual facade design. This envelope is very much driven by sustainability requirements and not really their typical kit of parts from 401 Park or Coolidge Ave.

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They have a pretty standard explanation that you would find for any high-performance envelope:

The building’s exterior envelope is composed of triple-insulated high-performance glazing in a unitized aluminum curtain wall system. Each of the building’s façades addresses their respective solar exposures. On the south and east elevations, horizontal and vertical sun shades are carefully placed based on detailed solar analysis, reducing both solar heat gain and glare to allow for a comfortable interior working environment. Because the building does not receive any direct sunlight on the north elevation and is in shadow during the day on the west elevation, solar shading is not needed on these façades. Glazing sizes have been maximized in order to reduce thermal bridging and optimize daylight and views to the exterior
 

DZH22

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Only in Boston (Cambridge) would you replace literally the best proportioned building in the entire city with one of the worst, and call it progress.
 

king_vibe

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The yellow transfer trusses are absolutely structural. Not decorative.
 

Cortes

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I can't believe this is getting demolished.
It must of been really bad inside. Even a complete redo/reimagined first 5 floors with a reclad crown would of made more sense to me, ala the courthouse.
 

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