Vehicle / Equipment Storage & Stockroom (VESS) Facility
Cambridge, MA

DiMarinisi & Wolfe was commissioned by the Cambridge Housing Authority to design a new  5,700 square foot storage building for its vehicles, equipment, repair and maintenance stock. The new building sits on a prominent corner in Cambridge, adjacent to the Washington Elms Housing and across from a commercial office complex. In addition to being very visible, the site is relatively small, access to it is tight for truck and semi-trailer deliveries, and the soil conditions are poor, necessitating the use of a pile supported foundation.

The D&W design for VESS is to provide an "L"-shaped brick masonry building set back at an interior corner of the site. The location of the building allows the site to be serviced through two curb cuts by large trucks, while at the same time screening the nearby housing and its pedestrian pathways from the facilities delivery yard, The brick masonry of the building matches that of the adjacent housing and the gabled roofing provides a proper transition in scale between the single story storage building and the multi-story housing. Metal grilles over the buildings clerestory windows serve double duty as attractive decorative elements and as protection against vandalism. At the street corner where truck passage is not needed, there is a small landscapes seating area - a "pocket park" - to make the facility an urban  amenity in its neighborhood.