325 Main

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Black Sheet Metal Casing
Stock Font with Custom Flaps
Custom Software

Located at 325 Main Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the new and improved Kendall Center. The project broke ground in early 2020 and built up to completion – a beautiful addition to the Beantown skyline. 325 replaced a building that housed one of MIT’s famous “Coop” bookstores dating back to the late 19th century. The new building towers over the old four-floor structure, now stretching 16 stories and more than quadrupling the previous square footage of The Coop. 325 Main brings a captivating addition to Kendall Square – a Boston Properties development project since the early 1980s.

The Kendall Center is contiguous to MIT’s campus and woven right into Kendall Square – a beautiful office and social spectacle lined with restaurants, retail, green space, and more. Kendall Square is indisputably the Most Innovative Square Mile on the planet with neighbors in tech, biotech, and life sciences.

325 Main has a modern exterior architectural style lined with glass windows, sharp edges, green mezzanines, and a towering faćade to welcome guests. The exterior overhangs throughout give the building a kinetic stance like The Head of Franz Kafka by David Černý – as if its segmented design spins in different directions. The interior follows a similar modern style through neutral woods, whites, and exciting geometry. The front doors open up to a public atrium crowned with a cedar step-lit ceiling resembling flipping pages of a book or an acoustic shell seen in orchestral theaters. The atrium ties the first two floors of the building together giving newcomers a clear line of sight of where to navigate upon entering.

325 Main provides on-site access to the MBTA Red Line as well as the MBTA bus system making transportation a breeze from in and out of the area. This transportation hub wouldn’t be complete without a live feed of public transportation times, and that’s exactly what Boston Properties requested from their friends in Philly.

To match the scale of 325 Main, Boston Properties requested our largest sign to date. A 7-row by 168-column display, it is 40 feet long… We actually considered expanding our office to build this sign but our Production team found a loophole – literally! They actually cut small holes through our walls so they could run wires from different sections of the sign for appropriate programming. The sign stretched across three walls in two different rooms in our production area, check out the video here. The sign has a colorful artboard including yellow, blue, orange, green, and pink flaps to match the rooftop patio design. The animations are über cool on such a wide sign. Speaking of Uber, the sign receives live transportation updates through ActionFigure (formerly known as TransitScreen). The integration provides a list of the closest rideshare, bus, train, and EZRide options – all within walking distance of the facility. There’s no need to check your phone for the most immediate options anymore! The Split Flap also has our Google Calendar integration which will display upcoming events happening on the rooftop – you’ll never miss your ride or an event with these integrations. A sign that acts as the main wayfinding tech in a public space would not be possible without our ADA-compliant font – the size of the font also makes the animations look that much cooler too.

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    Location: 325 Main
    Development: Boston Properties
    Architecture: Pickard Chilton
    Photography: Austin Mills

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