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Old 04-09-2018, 10:14 AM   #1
datadyne007
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Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

From the Cambridge Crossing Master Plan thread:

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Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
New renders from last month for Parcel I (they're mislabeled as being from 2017 or I'd have seen them sooner).

http://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/F...16_1.pdf?la=en

http://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/F...16_2.pdf?la=en




































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Last edited by datadyne007; 04-09-2018 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

That is a very nicely put together set of documents. Very clear, very informative, very honest in regards to the architectural intentions. I wish all submissions had this much meat.

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Old 04-09-2018, 11:55 AM   #3
Equilibria
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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That is a very nicely put together set of documents. Very clear, very informative, very honest in regards to the architectural intentions. I wish all submissions had this much meat.

cca
I wish they'd stuck with the flatiron look for this or given it more of a crown (since it's the highest point in the development IIRC), but I don't disagree.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

Really like the emphasis paid to the bike parking. Would've hoped to have more than one fix-it stand or bike wash, but baby steps.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:21 PM   #5
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

It's boring, but also really nice.

Question: Why is zoning only to 220' here? Can't we push 300' or even more here? Is it to reduce shadows on the new park?
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:59 PM   #6
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

Still frustrated that the developers think Parcel I needs its own green space, when this project's "Common" is within throwing distance. More infill would go a long ways to avoiding a suburban campus feel.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:33 PM   #7
Gameguy326
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Still frustrated that the developers think Parcel I needs its own green space, when this project's "Common" is within throwing distance. More infill would go a long ways to avoiding a suburban campus feel.
I agree.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:44 PM   #8
tysmith95
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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It's boring, but also really nice.

Question: Why is zoning only to 220' here? Can't we push 300' or even more here? Is it to reduce shadows on the new park?
Usually I make fun of the height fetishes but it totally makes sense here. It's the perfect place for a newer neighborhood with some height. Unfortunately Cambridge is awful at planning.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:48 PM   #9
Poolio
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

Thank you datadyne for taking the time to extract and post all these images! Still trying to decide if I think this is boring or elegant. Both maybe. I really like the street level render on page 15.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:12 PM   #10
Brad Plaid
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Originally Posted by theSil View Post
Still frustrated that the developers think Parcel I needs its own green space, when this project's "Common" is within throwing distance. More infill would go a long ways to avoiding a suburban campus feel.
It's probably not the developers but likely a Cambridge requirement for a certain % of open space. It really is extreme and there is also a lot of plaza area with only one or 2 story buildings adding to the too-open feeling. It's a rigid ideology that favors the suburban over the urban and Volpe is likely to turn out the same way in spite of the higher height allowed there.
Also, hopefully the surrounding buildout in the renderings only indicates massing rather than the design direction they are going in, but that kind of mediocrity is always a possibility especially if CBT is involved.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:36 PM   #11
Beton Brut
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Still trying to decide if I think this is boring or elegant. Both maybe.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:42 PM   #12
odurandina
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

Oh, Let's build Winthrop Square even where we don't have to

Because there's just not enough crazy, short, fat, L-shaped garbage in the world.

In the 17-60 story group, 97.7% are 17-20 stories.


Future generations:

"A nice mix of 30-35 story slender Vancouver would have been so much better

instead of a handful of oranges and kiwi's drowned out in cow feces."


*just now reading your posts to see if it had a similar reaction.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:52 AM   #13
JumboBuc
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Usually I make fun of the height fetishes but it totally makes sense here. It's the perfect place for a newer neighborhood with some height. Unfortunately Cambridge is awful at planning.
Yeah, I'm far from a height fetishist (and those types typically drive me crazy on this forum) but capping this area at 220' is completely ridiculous. It is bounded by two rapid transit lines but borders an enormous train maintenance facility, an elevated highway, a community college, and multiple industrial parks. There are no residential neighbors to the north within about a 600m radius, and the residential neighbors to the south don't have shadow effects and are separated by Monsenior O'Brien "Highway."

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Everything to the south of this is in Cambridge and everything to the North is in Boston (Charlestown). The only neighboring area in Somerville is the train facility and some more distant industrial parks.

Every parcel in the area is at-least partially located in Cambridge, except for parcel EF which lies 100% in Somerville.

It'd be fun for Somerville to tell the developers that they can build as tall as they like on Parcel EF, with absolutely no height restriction, since no Somervillian neighbors would be at all affected. I wonder what we'd get...
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:18 AM   #14
Equilibria
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Originally Posted by JumboBuc View Post
Yeah, I'm far from a height fetishist (and those types typically drive me crazy on this forum) but capping this area at 220' is completely ridiculous. It is bounded by two rapid transit lines but borders an enormous train maintenance facility, an elevated highway, a community college, and multiple industrial parks. There are no residential neighbors to the north within about a 600m radius, and the residential neighbors to the south don't have shadow effects and are separated by Monsenior O'Brien "Highway."
Let's bear in mind for a moment that 250 feet is pretty large. They aren't proposing 5-story buildings here. MIT is building the same height in the heart of Kendall Square, and this is about the height ceiling outside of the Financial District/Back Bay across the Boston Area.

The only buildings outside of Downtown slated to be taller are the Pierce, the tallest MIT SOMA and Volpe buildings, one of the Flower Exchange buildings, and one or two towers in Union Square, plus the tallest stuff at Assembly, and that's all in this same height range.

You want 600 feet. Okay. And if they proposed 600, you'd want 1,000. And if they proposed 100', you'd want 250'. It's all reactionary.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:29 AM   #15
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Let's bear in mind for a moment that 250 feet is pretty large. They aren't proposing 5-story buildings here. MIT is building the same height in the heart of Kendall Square, and this is about the height ceiling outside of the Financial District/Back Bay across the Boston Area.

The only buildings outside of Downtown slated to be taller are the Pierce, the tallest MIT SOMA and Volpe buildings, one of the Flower Exchange buildings, and one or two towers in Union Square, plus the tallest stuff at Assembly, and that's all in this same height range.

You want 600 feet. Okay. And if they proposed 600, you'd want 1,000. And if they proposed 100', you'd want 250'. It's all reactionary.
Again, most of the time I'm totally opposed to the height obsession that is all too prevalent on this forum. But if you are ever going to build tall in a new place, this is the place to do it. The primary/only reason to limit height is to limit the effect that height has on its neighbors. This is frequently/usually a valid concern! But here there are practically no neighbors to be affected, despite the rapid transit lines and stations that run along both sides of the site.

But as to a specific number: 400', 600', 800', whatever, I don't care. I'm sure some of those numbers are more economically viable than others, so let the market decide. I just don't see any reason why Cambridge (primarily) feels that they need to limit the new buildings in this new area to 220' when there is SO MUCH demand for space in this area.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:34 AM   #16
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

I don't know if that's exactly true. If they proposed 100', the scoff would just be louder; I don't read these as calls to make it taller by any particular factor, but instead to rightsize it. This area is closer to downtown than the Fenway and Assembly; it's not inappropriate for it to be taller. It's within spitting distance of the Hub on Causeway; at least for me, whatever those are, this could have been.

And, to quibble, that's not what reactionary means.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:51 AM   #17
Brad Plaid
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

Divco surely was watching all of the silly Middlesex Courthouse drama and could very well have decided it wasn't worth the time and money fighting rabid activists to get more height. What could have been a phenomenal new neighborhood will be living up to only half it's potential. Extremists: 1, everybody else: 0.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:12 PM   #18
tangent
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameguy326 View Post
It's boring, but also really nice.

Question: Why is zoning only to 220' here? Can't we push 300' or even more here? Is it to reduce shadows on the new park?
In this case they did a reasonably good job having that park open to the South to avoid shadows so it isn't that. It is just Cambridge not wanting to go tall apparently.

Not that the developers would have wanted to either, but it certainly could have made sense to go to twice the height here to take advantage of proximity to the existing transit infrastructure and the GLX. Transit-wise it is one of the better connected locations around Boston.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:13 PM   #19
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

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Originally Posted by Brad Plaid View Post
Divco surely was watching all of the silly Middlesex Courthouse drama and could very well have decided it wasn't worth the time and money fighting rabid activists to get more height. What could have been a phenomenal new neighborhood will be living up to only half it's potential. Extremists: 1, everybody else: 0.
Well I think the point is that it was somewhat of the opposite of that situation because there is less of an established neighborhood to deal with.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:18 PM   #20
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Re: Parcel I | Cambridge Crossing | East Cambridge

The additional green space here, as mentioned above, is ridiculous. Park fetishism by Cambridge that leads to mediocre parks and incomplete urbanism.
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