Bruner/Cott recently completed the renovation of the Rivermark Apartments, two 490,000 sf 1974 buildings located at 808-812 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Situated along the Charles River with city and water views, the buildings house 300 mixed-income units of various sizes, approximately 38,000 sf 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 square feet 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 significantly 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 overcladding system comprising a panelized skin that could be assembled offsite 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.



2022        Built Environment+ | Green Building Showcase, Sustainable Building Renovation Award

2023        Enterprise Green Community Certification

Achieved through tenant involvement during design phases (providing feedback on design and community needs), low flow plumbing fixtures, low VOC finishes, Energy Star Appliances, LED lighting, and waste/recycling management during construction.