116 Norfolk Street: Supportive Housing Complex

On the Boards

The renewal and expansion of a 1907 building in a dense residential neighborhood of Cambridge, MA, meets a critical need for supportive, affordable housing. Now well into construction, 116 Norfolk Street will be the first project completed under Cambridge’s new Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) zoning ordinance, pioneering a new era of affordable housing development in the city.


Cambridge, MA

Size (new)

25,500 sf

Size (renovation)

20,400 sf




Tracking Enterprise Green Communities certification

“The renovation and expansion of 116 Norfolk will not only provide 62 deeply affordable homes in the heart of Cambridge, but also the permanent supportive housing that is critically needed to ensure that households who have previously experienced homelessness or who are elderly and/or disabled can thrive.”

Michael J. Johnston | Executive Director, Cambridge Housing Authority

Reconfigured from SRO units with shared kitchens and bathrooms into studio apartments, the design of this updated complex provides individual space for all residents to ensure their health, safety, and comfort, with shared common areas reserved for gatherings and social interactions. The renovation ensures full accessibility and increases natural light to promote occupant well-being.

Reflecting its small-scale neighborhood context and building typology, the new addition is offset from the existing structure and connected by a light-filled, glass entry link. Sited carefully to preserve and frame a coveted south-facing green space, the expanded complex now accommodates 62 units of affordable housing.

Study sketches for the facade of the new addition and glass connector