Completion Year: 2002
Program: 7,500sf office space: Planning, design, furniture and lighting, Adaptive Reuse
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield FAIA, Tricia Izzo
General Contractor: Capital Construction
Interior Designer: Metalhouse
Located in a 150-year-old mill building, this Asset Management Firm focuses its interest in the biotech industry. Taking cues from the sciences, the office design reflects the duality of scientific inquiry: its logic and creativity, its rigor and chaos.
Concrete floors connote the hard clean surfaces of the laboratory and glass and steel give the office an industrial feel. Color plays an important part of the composition and is a reference to the color-coding of laboratory materials. Oranges, blues and greens are used throughout.
The existing structure of the mill building is an un-hidden presence in the exposed brick walls and skeleton of timber columns that march down the center of the office. This order is also reinforced by the cellular nature of the analysts’ office that anchor the front wing. Their angled translucent walls alternating with transparent glass doors create intriguing glimpses into the offices for visitors while sharing daylight with the interior. Shaped slip-matched sycamore panels define an organic waiting area that contrasts with the underlying structural order. The opposing wall of the entry hall is skewed in relation to the building grid, to create a forced perspective that leads visitors towards the conference and operations area. A narrow blue light running the length of this space becomes a marker that knits the plan together. The wings intersect at a conference room glazed in entirely with both frosted and clear glass illuminated by colored light sources
While the analysts compile their research, the partners integrate that information and translate it into operational decisions. Their wing of the office is an open space with floating circular “atoms” made of cold rolled steel. They are oriented around an open communications desk and library, both composed of organic forms. The impenetrable walls of the partners’ offices connote some of the inscrutable mysteries of nature while their relationship with the trading area and each other imply their openness to connection. In this way, the composition becomes a molecular form.
The project draws on the idea that “science” can connote logic and order but scientists need to make creative leaps to uncover and discover the true causes of disease and illness. Biotech’s mission is to improve and extend the quality of the human lifespan while delving into the mysteries of how things work. The office design strives to reflect these many dualities of structural rigor and creativity.