Setting Roadway Safety into Motion

Cambridge Mobile Telematics
Cambridge, MA

SMMA is helping Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) emerge from its current location at the Cambridge Innovation Center to establish its own headquarters. The growing company, whose mission is to “make the world’s roads safer using mobile sensing and IoT, machine learning, and behavioral science,” will occupy a full floor of a new 21,000 sf building located at 314 Main Street in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The move is as symbolic as it is strategic: with educational roots from the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), CMT’s founders sought to provide an innovative and engaging culture for staff, while showcasing their extensive portfolio of work on safe driving protocols to clients and visitors.

Aesthetic Utilitarianism

Due to their engineering-focused mission, CMT’s office design needed to remain utilitarian while also visually reflecting the larger brand. The design team established two modes of circulation around the space: a primary walking path along the perimeter of the floor plan and a secondary path through staff office areas. The larger, primary path draws individuals to the periphery, allowing them to take advantage of the 12th floor views of the city and leading them to destinations at each corner that provide a different work experience. With high-backed furniture and easily cleanable materials, these alternate workspaces are ideal for the modern, more hygienic workplace. The secondary path is more standard and passes through a grid of organized office space for staff to get in and out. Due to today’s post-pandemic climate, both corridors can also be converted to institute one-way circulation.

CMT from the Cambridge Innovation Center.Floorplan

Wayfinding techniques help navigate the space through elements representing speed and movement–a clever nod to CMT’s technology. Winding carpet patterns and an open ceiling along the edges reinforce the primary corridor’s route. Large environmental graphics bridge the gap between what drivers see on the road and what CMT’s employees see every day, depicting different aspects of the outdoors and behavioral data, respectively. A lively work café with flexible seating and installation art and the strategic usage of color throughout further embody the client’s brand: their dominant colors remain the focus, only disrupted by pops of their warmer, secondary colors through furniture and graphics selections.

CMT from the Cambridge Innovation Center.
CMT from the Cambridge Innovation Center.| Custom Environmental Graphics

Technology on Display

A key feature of the new office is its integration of CMT’s product, a way to tastefully highlight the company’s technological prowess. A projector illuminates selected media on the floor in front of the main elevator. Other incorporations include enlarged product patents displayed outside of an IoT lab and extrapolated data forming the imagery of cars and roadways throughout the office. These visuals aim to show overlaps between the employee and customer experiences through the very tools that the company leverages.

Chilled Beam Efficiencies

The new headquarters not only represents CMT’s cultural values, but also serves as an example of energy efficiency. The base building, which abides by LEED v4 standards, had several requirements that the design team needed to follow for energy efficiency and sustainability purposes. One of the results of this is an active chilled beam (ACB) system designed to provide ventilation, create passive air movement in the space, and allow for additional cooling through chilled water.

Since these active chilled beams rely on natural convection, no power is required on the tenant floor. Compared to a more traditional air system, the ACB system primarily utilizes chilled water for cooling energy. Water carries more energy than air, consequently reducing costs on ductwork material and installation, fan energy, and operation.

A Custom Design

The design team created custom edges for the exposed ceiling, which was then seamlessly integrated with the rest of the office’s look and feel to perpetuate the ideas of motion. Additionally, the office’s public-facing areas incorporate the cities where CMT has worked, including large dimensional maps of Kendall Square and MIT suspended from the ceiling in both the reception and work café areas. Even the lighting plan serves a subtle, customized purpose: the primary walking corridor incorporates a double row of lights representing non-passing lines on a multi-laned road, and the secondary walking corridor incorporates a single row of intermediate lights representing lines on a typical roadway.

CMT from the Cambridge Innovation Center.

The new headquarters’ strategies and visuals position CMT for success as they continue to inspire their staff to engage, incentivise, and improve drivers around the world.