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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Introducing a New Era of Transportation Innovation 

U.S. DOT Volpe Center @ Kendall Square

New facility in the evening
Welcome to the new U.S. DOT Volpe Center facility. (U.S. DOT Volpe Center image) 

A New Era of Transportation Innovation  

In September 2023, U.S. DOT opened its doors to a new, state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Kendall Square.

Since 1970, the U.S. DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center was known colloquially as “the best kept secret in Cambridge,” situated in a gated, 14-acre setting where cutting-edge research took place.

While we’ve been an active part of the Kendall Square community since 1970, this premier location, known as “the most innovative square mile in the planet,” and new open design firmly positions the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in the epicenter of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurial startups. The vibrancy, diversity, and energy of this location infuses our culture, helps inform our work, and optimally supports the current and future needs of U.S. DOT. 

The design for the new U.S. DOT Volpe Center features a vertical campus, reintroducing the public and its Kendall Square neighborhood to the Center, our people, and our work.

After more than 50 years, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center is building on its longstanding history and legacy and moving forward to accommodate growth and change as we look forward to our bright future.  

New Volpe Center stairs
Our new facility is designed to spark creativity and innovation. (U.S. DOT Volpe Center image)

Our New Footprint  

  • Four acres in the heart of Kendall Square  
  • One building  with 13 stories
  • Expected to meet LEED Platinum standards
  • Approximately 305,000 usable square feet (USF)  
  • Approximately 26,000 USF of laboratories  
  • Approximately 38,000 USF of conference and meeting space  
  • 300 underground parking spaces and surface visitor parking  
  • Brand new childcare center   
  • Accessible by MBTA  
Cafeteria at Volpe
Our new facility is built for collaboration and open dialogue. (U.S. DOT Volpe Center image)

Designed to Perform  

Our new facility is designed to enhance the innovation, collaboration, flexibility, and partnerships that have long been part of our culture—and embrace the emerging transportation needs of the future.  

Innovation   

  • The new U.S. DOT Volpe Center facility includes laboratories, conference space, offices, open workstations, and joint use space that bring multimodal staff from across U.S. DOT together to encourage collaboration, foster connection, and the exchange of ideas. 
  • The open atrium, glass walls, and large-scale LED demonstration boards will not only showcase our innovation and spark ideas inside the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, but also bring the conversation outside into Kendall Square.
  • Built with sustainability and resilience in mind, the new U.S. DOT Volpe Center facility features the highest levels of certification in energy and environmental design.  
    • For the building’s LEED Platinum certification target, the building is oriented to maximize daylight for the office and work stations, while the glass and aluminum façade is crafted in different arrangements to minimize glare.
    • Vertical aluminum plates, shaped like the fins of an aircraft, shade the interiors.
  • The architecture is designed to put the Center’s work on display through a series of nine, 14-foot-tall garage doors at the street level to easily usher vehicles in and out of the building and provide a place for demonstrations led by our Human Factors Lab.   

Collaboration  

  • Sited on four of the original campus’ 14 acres, the new building aligns the U.S. DOT Volpe Center with the tempo and ethos of the Kendall Square community, an entrepreneurial neighborhood driven by technological innovation.
  • Our new U.S. DOT Volpe Center is built for collaboration with open floor plans and collaboration space designed with safety and the emerging needs of our workforce.  
  • The vertical campus is knit together by a communicating staircase that connects the lobby, conferencing, training rooms, and cafeteria with the labs and elevators, including a childcare center on the ground floor and a fitness center on the sixth floor.
  • The building is set back to keep this federal building secure and leave room for brand new green spaces.
  • The new facility features state-of-the-art, accessible lab space that allows our researchers to collaborate and innovate to test theoretical concepts in real-world simulations and put research to work to advance transportation innovation for the public good.  
  • With training rooms and conference space to accommodate up to 800 people, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center can open up its world-class expertise and expand its programming to meet the expanding needs of the transportation enterprise.

Flexibility   

  • The new facility is built with accessibility in mind, poised to accommodate the mobile-ready needs of the workforce of tomorrow.  
  • Designed for agility, GSA is applying lessons learned from today to ensure that we can expand to accommodate future growth in line with U.S. DOT’s goals for the coming century and beyond.   
  • Bringing together world-class transportation expertise in one building—including the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, U.S. DOT Office of the Secretary of Research and Technology, and regional U.S. DOT offices—allows for efficiencies, connections, and scalability that benefit the traveling public.   
New Volpe Cafeteria
Our new facility is poised to meet the needs of our bright future. (U.S. DOT Volpe Center image)

Join the Conversation

Welcome to our new home at 220 Binney Street, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.