SGA’s design of Parcel D2.1 will breathe new economic life into Somerville’s historic Union Square as its first significant commercial building in decades.
At completion, the 200,000-square-foot lab-ready facility will provide an innovative R&D environment for synergistic collaboration and ideas. Along with the return of public transit via the GLX light rail, the site signals the inauguration of Somerville as a new subcluster of the life sciences hub in nearby Cambridge.
In the early 1900s, when Union Square was Somerville’s largest commercial district known as “Sandpit Square,” local industries included grist mills, brick manufacturing, ink, glass, and copper tubing factories. Drawing inspiration from this history, the SGA team chose a palette that reflects these materials. Vertically orientated cladded modules in concert with metal accents frame transparent window openings; the use of natural cladding and glass celebrate the neighborhood’s past but are utilized in a modern manner to symbolize forward-thinking. Through the careful placement of material and attention to texture, color, and scale, the collective facade expression emphasizes a timeless, contemporary expression of the industrial vernacular.
With its rich history, diverse character, entrepreneurial spirit, and unique community identity, Parcel D2.1 will host the next generation of groundbreaking life science innovation.