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Where Heritage and the Future Intersect


Old Post Office

  • Artist rendering of the Historic Post Office
    Artist rendering of the Historic Post Office

Ideas | June 23, 2016

Imagine a place where the past and future meet – and it’s not just about who you are and what you do, but who you will become and what you will discover. That place is coming to Cambridge, and while restoration is underway, the international architecture community has recognized the innovative excellence and bestowed a commendation on a future Idea Exchange location, the Historic Post Office building on Water Street.

The MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards recognize planned or incomplete projects across 12 categories. The “Old and New” category features projects where a new building is being placed alongside an existing historic building or in a historically significant setting. The awards were assessed by an international jury chaired this year by Paul Finch, editorial director of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal.

“We are extremely pleased to have received such a great honour for the Old Post Office Idea Exchange project,” remarked Tyler Sharp, principal and design director for RDH Architects (RDHA). “This level of international recognition is the result of a great synergy between the rigour of our design process and the great ambitions of the City of Cambridge and Idea Exchange.”

The post office project will see a complete restoration of the existing historic building along with new glass additions that will increase usable space and improve accessibility. Combining glass structures with the heritage building will allow the historic elements to remain on display while still providing a space suited to modern use.

“This is an exciting community project and a breakthrough opportunity for heritage and the future to intersect,” said Idea Exchange CEO Helen Kelly. “The building is magnificent and the revitalization will provide a dynamic space for makers, learners and readers of all ages to gather and explore.”

The new digital library will offer programs and services for all ages. From 3D printers to recording suites to a teen creative space and onsite restaurant, the renovated historic post office building will be an entrepreneurial hub in Cambridge; a place for all members of the community to engage, collaborate and innovate.