Serving community needs
The nine-story lab building at 101 South Street in Somerville is the first of of a six-building masterplan to redevelop the formerly industrial area into a new mixed-use urban development. Ground-level amenity spaces at 101 South are key to achieving Boynton Yards' goal of creating a rich culture that supports local artists, attracts a world-class workforce, and serves its local community both in the short and long term. The project set out to create a highly flexible space, capable of both serving the building occupants with conference rooms, a café, and comfortable lounge spaces, and reaching out to the community to host after-hours events and promote local art.
The project occupies a prominent corner of the building, and the interior space is defined by continuous curtainwall, a high ceiling height, and a narrow L-shaped footprint. To create a sense of human scale and define gathering spaces, Studio Troika developed a language of slatted interventions that wrap around moments of pause. The slatted structures combine oak boards with felt strips that provide acoustic attenuation and an opportunity to hang rotating artwork. When positioned against the curtain wall, the slats filter sunlight and refocus energy inward, but when positioned against the core wall, the ceiling slats reach outward, creating a rhythm that is engaging to the exterior passerby. Once inside, the occupant discovers a larger-than-life mural of a phoenix, created by Boston artist Blind Fox, whose presence embodies the community reinvigoration effort made possible through this thoughtfully curated public space that brings the Boynton Yards masterplan to life.
Sabrina Cole Quinn
2023 IIDA New England Design Award for Best in Hospitality | Play
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