HMFH Architects

116 Norfolk Street: Supportive Housing Complex


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.


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.