Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
The new global headquarters for Akamai Technologies, one of the world’s leading providers of content delivery network services, consolidate the entire workforce from six disparate locations into a single unified vertical campus.
Akamai Technologies Global Headquarters has been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award and won a 2021 Green Good Design® Award from The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum.
The design process for this approximately 482,000 gsf tower in Kendall Square was tailored to directly respond to opportunities created through deep collaboration with the design team and Cambridge’s City.
This participatory design process resulted in a confident yet sensitive building that fits within the city scale, inspires employee engagement, and supports innovation.
The building provided an armature for the creation of the AkaMile, design by interior architects Sasaki.
A mile-long meandering path, the AkaMile connects collaborative workspaces, libraries, game rooms, and a cafeteria across the 19 floors of Akamai’s new home. This continuous multi-level circulation from the garden to the sky creates a vertical community and promotes interaction among the company’s 2,000 employees, newly united under one roof.
The color spectrum of the AkaMile palette is visible through the façade, revealing Akamai’s collaborative culture to passers-by. A defining feature of the massing, five interlocking bars weave together like fingers to create a series of cantilevers that reach toward downtown Cambridge and the Charles River.
Green roofs cover each cantilever and create a network of visible vegetation from the pocket park at the building’s lobby entrance to the tower top.
Certified as LEED-CS Gold, this major infill urban development features a high-performance enclosure that maximizes daylight and views while optimizing energy performance.
Ensuring the building’s long-term viability and sustainability, integrated systems include active chilled beams (ACB), high-efficiency chillers, an energy recovery system for the chilled beams, and a rainwater harvesting tank for irrigation and cooling tower make-up water.
Designed to be constructed using an innovative up-down construction approach, the tower was erected in steel in tandem with the basement excavation and construction of below-grade levels.
This unique methodology decreased the construction schedule significantly, improving the project’s economic performance and benefited the neighborhood by decreasing the duration of construction activity.
Supporting the City of Cambridge’s bike culture and initiatives to encourage alternative transportation, the project includes 150 bike parking spaces and a dedicated bike lane along Broadway.
Streetscape improvements provide enhanced connectivity to a network of pedestrian pathways and the nearby MBTA Red Line.
Project: Akamai Technologies Global Headquarters
Architects: Pickard Chilton
Interior Architects: Sasaki Associates
Developer: Boston Properties
Photographer: Anton Grassl