Cambridge City Hall Annex
The City Hall Annex houses many of Cambridge’s most public offices, including the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department, the Community Development Department, the Conservation Commission, the Animal Commission and the Cambridge Arts Council, which includes office and gallery space. Originally built in 1871 as a grammar school, the original mansard roof was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1896 with a flat roof and decorative pediments. The pediments were removed in the 1950s and reconstructed as part of our building restoration design. It remained a grammar school until 1942 when it was converted into the present City Hall annex. After an extensive steam line leak and indoor air quality testing forced the building’s closure due to elevated mold spore levels, a major renovation was initiated.
The gut renovation required for mold remediation opened design opportunities to reverse years of reorganization in order to return the building to the spirit of the original design. The design features a welcoming entry and lobby, clear circulation and signage, efficient office layout, code upgrades, including handicapped accessibility throughout, and an independent entrance for the Animal Commission which vaccinates pets and houses stray animals. A large multipurpose room also serves as a public meeting space. Re-sculpting the surrounding landscape transformed the partially below-grade basement level into a more gracious ground floor level.
When City Hall Annex reopened following renovation, it was Cambridge’s first green municipal building, the first LEED certified municipal building in Massachusetts, and the oldest building to receive LEED Gold Certification from the USGBC. Sustainable features of the building include operable windows, daylight in every office and work station, daylight controls for lighting fixtures, rooftop photovoltaic panels, geothermal wells and indoor bicycle storage.
© Photos by Blind Dog Photo Associates
+ Project Details
- Client City of Cambridge, MA
- Project Type Renovation
- Size 33,216 sf
- Sustainable Buildings Industry Council: First Place Exemplary Sustainable Building Award, 2006
- Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award, 2005
- Environmental Design & Construction Excellence in Design Award Finalist / Government Category, 2005
- Build New England Award, Associated General Contractors, 2005
- Cambridge Historical Commission Preservation Award, 2004
- Massachusetts Municipal Association Innovation Award, 2004
- Building Design & Construction Innovation Award, 2004