King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex

  • area / size 273,000 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • William Rawn Associates and Arrowstreet collaborated to complete the King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex for state-of-the-art learning in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    The 273,000 square foot complex located at 850 Cambridge Street opened in September 2019 and houses the King Open School (JK-5), Cambridge Street Upper Schools (6-8), the Cambridge Public Schools Administration, King Open Preschool, King Open Extended Day (KOED), Community Schools, Gold Star Pools, and the Valente Library.

    The facility incorporates many sustainable and energy efficient technologies, including the city’s largest solar array to renewably produce much of the energy needed to power it. The building is designed to use 44% less energy than a typical MA school. Occupant comfort and health are also incorporated into the design through daylighting, material selections, indoor air quality, and physical and visual connections with the outdoors.

    When designing this facility, the City of Cambridge and its architects, William Rawn Associates and Arrowstreet, embraced two key ideas: the importance of maintaining open space and Cambridge’s commitment to inclusion, community, and lifelong learning.

    In an effort to support new ways of teaching and learning, science and technology labs are prominently located, and interactive displays about sustainability and net zero features are located throughout the complex.

    Site amenities and open spaces at the complex include two gyms, two basketball courts, the Charles Rossi Bocce Court, five playgrounds, an outdoor splash pad, Cambridge Street Plaza, Valente Reading Garden, a central courtyard/outdoor classroom, and a 380-seat auditorium.

    Architects: William Rawn Associates, Arrowstreet
    Photography: Robert Benson, Anthony Crisafulli