NorthPoint will be an entirely new Cambridge neighborhood located to the north of Lechmere Square on a former industrial site and rail yards. MVVA completed the landscape component of the Master Plan in 2002 and the Phase 1A landscape in 2009.
A key component of the NorthPoint neighborhood will be a 7.7-acre spine of public open space including a multi-use bike and recreational trail connected to the Minute Man Trail to the west and new parks along the banks of the Charles River to the east. At the heart of the project, the green spine widens into the Central Park, a 6.3 acre public park designed to both serve those that live and work in the North Point neighborhood, as well as to attract visitors from other parts of the city.
The park is designed on creative environmental principles - it is organized by a series of planted swales that capture, cleanse, and transport stormwater from the surrounding buildings and roads, allowing a reduction in underground site infrastructure and giving park users the opportunity to understand how their neighborhood ecology relates to the context of wider environmental processes. Groups of native trees and landforms planted with lawn create a variety of spaces, which both increase the perceived size of the park and provide for a maximum diversity in park function. Large open lawns suitable for ball games and events are interspersed with more intimate spaces for picnics, small gatherings, and quiet contemplation. A series of urbane plaza spaces will connect the park to surrounding buildings and the city.