Cambridge Redevelopment Authority / City of Cambridge
© Glenn Heinmiller
© Wenjin Wu
© Dan Weissman
At the intersection of Kendall Square and East Cambridge, The Foundry facilitates access for residents to space and programs for the visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, technology, and workforce education. Constructed in 1890 as an iron foundry for the Blake and Knowles Steam Pump Company, The Foundry, now owned and operated by the City of Cambridge, contains workshops, art studios, meeting rooms, a teaching kitchen, and a black box theater all surrounding a grand Community Hall, and supported by market-rate office rental spaces on the upper levels.
Lighting this blend of historic and contemporary architecture highlights the grand building volumes and tactile materiality of over century-old brick and heavy timber construction, while providing users with the flexibility for a variety of activities. The architecture employs a high-contrast aesthetic to offset the timber and brick, with natural wood accents. Vertical surfaces are illuminated where possible to offset the dark exposed ceilings and maximize energy efficiency of the cohesive lighting system. In spite of deep floor plates, interiors feel bright and comfortable.