Bruner/Cott Architects completes
Rivermark Apartments renovation

August 18, 2023 - Construction Design & Engineering
photo credit: Richard Mandelkorn

Cambridge, MA Bruner/Cott completed the renovation of the Rivermark Apartments, two 490,000 s/f 1974 buildings located at 808-812 Memorial Dr. Situated along the Charles River with city and water views, the buildings house 300 mixed-income units of various sizes, 38,000 s/f of commercial space, and five levels of parking. The design goal of the project was to improve tenant comfort (lighting, circulation, accessibility) while strengthening the residential community and its identity.

Energy and water savings played a key role in the project. Planned interventions on the buildings’ 450,000 s/f of exterior surface included the installation of new, high-performance cladding and window systems to refresh their appearance, to support efficient mechanical system upgrades, and to reduce the residents’ cost of living. A critical goal of this work was to avoid the displacement of families and individuals during the process. To achieve this, the firm refined its approach to the design, installation, and phasing of the project, developing an over-cladding system comprising a panelized skin that could be assembled off-site and lifted into place. Once the building was fully enclosed, existing windows were removed from the interior as the last step of assembly.

Rivermark’s landscape and outdoor community spaces were also reworked to enhance lighting, circulation, and accessibility, including new surface materials, benches, non-invasive plant species and lighting. On the interior, lobbies, elevators, and corridors were refreshed with modern and vibrant finishes, flooring, lighting, and signage. All residential units received new entry doors, windows, shades, a refinished balcony, upgraded ventilation, duct cleaning, and fully renovated restrooms with low flow fixtures and upgraded finishes. Additional selective unit renovations included new flooring, kitchens with EnergyStar appliances, AC/fan coil units, and new interior doors. Common spaces including the community room, activity room, and computer lab were also renewed to better serve Rivermark residents for the next half century.



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