Education First

The assemblage of campus buildings comprising EF’s North American Headquarters and associated offices, academic facilities, dormitories and recreational space include EF I, II, III, and IV. McPhail’s involvement included EF II, III, and IV. The properties, in whole and part were acquired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) who owns and controls the surrounding Northpoint parklands.

As part of EF’s agreements with DCR, areas surrounding the campus buildings include landscaped public-access recreational space that blend in with the surrounding parkland and include an athletic field, basketball court, exercise and fitness areas, bike paths, and relaxation areas. Due to unusually thick deposits of unsuitable fill and organic soils, and relatively high building loads, deep piles were used for foundation support.

The Northpoint area of Cambridge was historically an industrial area with manufacturing facilities, rail yards and warehouses. As a result, widespread contamination existed that required remediation. McPhail worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement a clean-up plan that would allow safe re-use of the properties for the planned recreational uses.

Such plans included focused remediation of hotspot areas and placement of a “cap” of clean cover materials upon which the recreational and landscape features were constructed. EF’s’ development of their properties in collaboration with the DCR has made Northpoint a “destination” for the local community.


Northpoint; Cambridge, MA


Education First (EF)


Wilson Architects

Services Provided


Project Team