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Genzyme Center, Cambridge Research Park

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2003, Behnisch, Behnisch and Partner with Next Phase Studio. 500 Kendall Sq.
  • Genzyme Center, Cambridge Research Park (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

A limited invited competition for this world headquarters of Genzyme specified “green” architecture. Designed from the inside out, the primary focus was the creation of a pleasant work place. Whereas the exterior is a somewhat conventional blue-green-glass-clad building, the interior is an unexpectedly dazzling open space, first wide then high, with light flooding the twelve-story skylight atrium. The calm curvilinear waves of pastel colors on wall surfaces and ceiling lead to a world of sparkling brilliance, made manifest by the plastic prisms that reflect and refract the light from above, creating ever-changing moving patterns throughout. Amenities for the nine hundred employees are legion: operable windows reducing energy consumption, top-floor cafeteria providing panoramic views, coffee bars, indoor garden enclaves, and lounges fostering informal contact. Both the exterior and interior qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating, a national standard for developing high-performance sustainable buildings.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Genzyme Center, Cambridge Research Park", [Cambridge, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 284-284.

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