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Additional Resources

Visit the Gables Residential website for Watermark Kendall West; see more photos on the Gables Residential Facebook page.

For additional information regarding the Watermark Kendall Terrace West greenroofs, please contact contact: Leah Beckett of Recover Green Roofs at:

Learn about Bison Innovative Products, Naturcycle, and Recover Green Roofs in the Directory.

Case Studies

Recover Green Roofs; IBI PlacemakingNauset Construction; Principal: Sustainability Profile – Watermark Kendall West; Kendall Watermark East & West: Twining Properties; Watermark East: CBT Architects.


July 27, 2020 3:57 video Watermark Kendall West – Featured Project from on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube.


October 27, 2022 (Re)Featured Project: Watermark Kendall West by Linda S. Velazquez on; July 9, 2014 Nauset Completes Sky Decks at Watermark Kendall West in High-Profile.

Situated in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the LEED Gold certified Watermark Kendall West complex is host to residential, commercial, and retail spaces. In April 2014 Recover Green Roofs installed two roof patios on the second and 21st floors of Watermark Kendall West designed to provide residents with recreational and leisure spaces overlooking Cambridge, the Charles River, and downtown Boston.

Marked as a global center for innovation and cutting edge technology, the award winning walkable Watermark Kendall neighborhood is located next to MIT.  Watermark Kendall consists of two residential towers, East and West, attached by a lobby on the first floor and a courtyard green roof on the second floor:

Watermark West:
24 story, 375,000 square feet, 321 luxury apartments and 25,000 square feet retail, completed 2006, LEED EB Gold (2010 with re-certification in 2015).

Watermark East:
17 story, 135,000 sf building, 144 apartments and 10,000 square feet retail, completed 2013, LEED NC Silver.

Together, the two luxurious towers offer extensive private and public amenities including a fitness spa, 24-hour concierge services, roof terrace and courtyard green roof, as well as retail, restaurants, outdoor parks, and a small kayak facility on a canal that feeds into the Charles River.

The Property Manager, Gables Residential, has utilized many strategies to reduce energy, water, and waste and to improve the environmental impact of Watermark Kendall West including:

“Opportunities to reduce water consumption are continually identified. Since 2014, the property team has replaced original shower heads with 1.5 gallon per minute (GPM) fixtures and retrofitted kitchen and bathroom faucets with 1.5 GPM aerators in all resident units. Additionally, drip irrigation and irrigation controls were added to water the building’s vegetated roof and landscaped balcony. As a result of these and other efforts, the property has saved over 2 million gallons of water per year.” ~ Principal: Sustainability Profile – Watermark Kendall West

And the property team promotes sustainability education through Green Living Guides for its residents. Gables Residential says, “Our community amenities are thoughtfully designed with fun and convenience to make the most of your everyday living experience.”

The Watermark Kendall West Second Floor Terrace is a 15,000 square-foot amenity space connecting the two residential towers. The 21-story view above shows modern geometric pattern of new rooftop terrace and outdoor kitchen.

When constructed in 2014, the second floor rooftop patio originally featured badminton and bocce ball courts in addition to a walking pavilion, redbud trees, ornamental grasses, and an herb garden. In 2018, Recover Green Roofs and IBI Placemaking renovated the west side of the 2nd floor rooftop courtyard to include a variety of activity areas, more shaded seating, and a greater diversity of plants to draw local pollinators.

Recover Green Roofs completed the selective demolition of the older amenity space and worked with to build a more modern and user-friendly terrace.

“The design transformed an underutilized amenity space into organized, programmable zones. An outdoor grill / bar area, firepits, cabana seating, and a statement shade structure backed anchoring the open lawn are among the many improvements.” ~ IBI Placemaking

As part of the selective demolition, Recover was able to salvage and recycle both inert materials and organic matter, including four mature Redbud trees that are now happily thriving elsewhere.

With new growing media by Naturcycle, this second-floor terrace features a custom outdoor kitchen and a variety of leisure spaces, including: a large exercise safety surface and synthetic turf lawn, bar-top seating under a custom-made steel pergola, a sleek media lounge, a light trellis over cafe style seating, and wood privacy pergolas. Each seating area is buffered by planters of flowering and grassy perennials that provide late-season foraging for pollinators, creating comfortable spaces for groups and individuals on this nearly half-acre amenity roof.

IBI Placemaking: Plant species include groundcover Creeping Liriope (Liriope spicata); ornamental grasses October Glory Big Blue Stem (Andropogon gerardii ‘October Glory’) and Prairie Dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepis); perennials Anise Hysop (Agastache foeniculum) and Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa); and shrub Gold Tide Forsythia (Forsythia x ‘Courtasol’).

Sedum mats surround hardscaping pathways, and four large Japanese Maple trees have room to grow in large custom planters along the eastern edge of the Watermark Kendall Terrace West’s second floor terrace.

“We chose artificial turf because of the need for low maintenance and durability in a space intended to be highly programmed.” ~ IBI Placemaking

When asked why artificial grass was used instead of living lawn, Recover says, “Although we prefer living lawns, the design goals called for an area that could be heavily used with minimal maintenance. Lawns require significant labor and water inputs that would not have been feasible in this space, especially in the heat of the summer. With the artificial turf, exercises classes can utilize the area whenever weather permits, mid-summer or on that rare 70-degree winter day. We also hoped the turf might deter residents from using the space as a dog-bathroom!”

Over the course of three months, Recover installed pavers, decking, synthetic surfaces, precast concrete steps, custom steel pergola and light trellis, steel planters, irrigation, and an outdoor kitchen including concrete countertops, fixtures, grills, and cabinetry. The courtyard was installed with Bison pedestals and pavers.

“The second floor terrace is constructed of an energy-efficient roofing membrane designed to resist ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure. Brazilian hardwood and concrete pavers were constructed above the membrane to provide seating and meeting space.” ~ Nauset Construction

The numerous intersecting surfaces and overhead features were carefully designed and painstakingly executed to create long parallel lines and clean geometric patterns.

Challenges included construction on a tight urban site with zero laydown while the residence remained occupied and fully operational (Nauset Construction).

Integrated with Watermark Kendall West’s existing roof deck, the Second Floor Terrace green roof provides access to the fitness spa for residents and more importantly, creates a seamless and beautiful outdoor environment.

Home to a diverse community, the property identifies best-in-class sustainability strategies to guide its environmental efforts. Overlooking the Charles River and the MIT campus, the roof terrace and courtyard greenroof beautifully illustrate Watermark Kendall West’s philosophy while providing amenities for an active lifestyle along with spectacular views.

In 2014 Recover also installed the Watermark Kendall West 21st Floor Rooftop Patio – see its Project Profile in the Projects Database. It should be noted that it does offer natural grassy areas that are dog-friendly, and the Sky Deck Rooftop Patio even occasionally hosts dogie pool parties in the summer.


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