Last week Arrowstreet hosted the Coxe Group roundtable. Made up of architectural firms from around the country, the group meets twice a year to share knowledge-based experiences and insights about the built environment and the practice of architecture. As part of the meeting, Arrowstreet organized a tour of Kendall Square, the headquarters of the life sciences industry.

We began with a walking tour through the evolution of the biotech phenomenon, beginning with the pioneer: One Kendall Square. The 19th/early 20th century mill complex was originally developed for the software marketbut when the high-tech bubble burst, the first commercial lab spaces were leased to startups like Genzyme and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, firmly planting the commercial lab space seed in Cambridge.

Just outside of One Kendall Square we visited two Arrowstreet-designed buildings, 301 Binney Street and 320 Bent Street. Other stops included Kendall Center, and Alexandria’s new life sciences development.

After touring CIC (formerly known as the Cambridge Innovation Center), Tim Stoll, Senior Director of Development for our client BioMed Realty, gave a tour of some of the Kendall Square buildings BioMed owns, including the recently completed 450 Kendall Street, which Arrowstreet designed, and the Genzyme Center at 500 Kendall. BioMed’s development is a testament of thoughtful design creating a real community space, where labs, offices, retail, and residential buildings share resources with the neighborhood. In Kendall Square, that includes a weekly farmers market and a pavilion that hosts free weekly concerts throughout the summer that also becomes a public skating rink in the winter.

After visiting the Collier Memorial at MIT, it was back to Arrowstreet’s Post Office Square studio, where the group was able to mingle with our staff while enjoying refreshments and canapés. We had a fantastic time, and are so thankful to the tour speakers who shared their knowledge of the Kendall Square area.

Topics: Office/Lab, Events