John Snow Inc. (JSI) provides research and consulting on healthcare to underserved people and communities around the world. MP redesigned their headquarters at 44 Farnsworth Street in Boston’s Seaport District to make better use of the space, converting the majority of large, private offices into flexible workstations. Additionally, MP identified the need for a welcoming common space and café.

  • The new design provides efficient space utilization and a flexible floor-plan that reflects how work is performed now and in the future. The reconfigured plan and new amenities add to the overall experience for staff and employees by providing the following:
  • Remaining offices have been relocated away from exterior windows to provide better access to daylight.
  • A new café is a significant upgrade that can now accommodate multiple uses.
  • A green, living wall is provided to promote a sense of well-being through biophilic design.
  • Updated mechanical and electrical systems provide greater comfort while also consuming far less energy.
  • Added a sound masking system to provide acoustical privacy in the much more open floor plan.

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) is a national engineering firm that designs, investigates, and rehabilitates structures, building enclosures, and materials.

Margulies Perruzzi helped SGH to update both their Boston and Waltham offices with a high-performance and sustainable workplace strategy, with open and efficient floor plans promoting collaborative, team-based work.

The open, modern design of these spaces maximizes collaboration, natural light, and operational flexibility. Both spaces have multiple and varied office resources for employees to work both independently and in teams, such as individual workstations, focused/quiet work areas, unstructured space, and collaborative workspaces with different technology resources.

The Boston office, located within the Prudential Tower, was performed under an accelerated design process; the planning and design would then inform the new 110,000 SF Waltham location

Sustainability

This project is certified LEED-Gold.

Nitsch Engineering’s award-winning civil engineering firm has worked with countless architects, so we were honored when they retained MP to design their new office space. Their previous space at 186 Lincoln Street was spread over three floors and failed to reflect their values: advocacy for sustainable site design and a creative, collaborative culture. MP designed their new space at Two Center Plaza to enhance teamwork, allow for easy team realignments, and serve as a welcoming environment for clients, partners and staff alike.

The design strategy created two zones, the ‘public’ and ‘private’ zones. The public zone sits at the front of the suite for reception and meeting spaces. It includes conference and training spaces supporting Nitsch’s ongoing client events, all of which are enabled with audio visual technology. The main training space doubles as the primary office pantry, melding the social hub of the firm with its primary training venue.

In the private work zone, MP pushed all private offices away from the window line in order to provide natural light to the workstation environment. Private offices feature all glass fronts to enhance collaboration with staff and to allow in natural light, and workstation partitions were kept low. This setup allows natural light deep into the suite interior.

When this confidential client determined their existing office no longer supported their corporate goals, they seized the opportunity to create a space that represents their culture. MP designed a truly customized work environment for their 131 employees, thus increasing their productivity and efficiency. This new design enhances the firm’s collaborative and mobile culture, showcasing a refreshed and modern look to attract new recruits while also not abandoning their Boston roots.

1. Client Zones
Technology-enabled meeting spaces and waiting areas were designed with warm and jewel tone finishes coupled with rich cherry woods. LED and energy-efficient lighting is used throughout including decorative pendants with sheer bronze shades.

2. Employee Zones
Team “neighborhoods” offer private and semi-private work areas. Benching worksettings provide a unique open collaboration opportunity that offers additional flexibility. Phone booths, administrative areas, team rooms, and shared partner offices are also provided.

3. Multi-use Zones
The café is the workhorse for the firm. It was designed not only to entice mobile employees to work on-location, but also to provide a place where employees can do almost everything: socialize, collaborate, attend training sessions or lectures, or host catered events. Its aesthetic welcomes employees and clients alike.

After designing Robinson+Cole’s 40,000 SF space in 1997, Margulies Perruzzi was once again retained to renovate their space at One Boston Place. Previously consisting of offices and conference rooms, MP transformed their space on the 26th floor into the main reception area as well as a conference center, which will accommodate larger, more public gatherings.

Due to advances in technology, there was a significant reduction in the firm’s law library since most information sourcing is now performed online. That extra space was transformed into a collaboration area. The main conference room was planned to be very large to accommodate corporate document review and signings and other large-team events. The room can be flexibly split into two ten-person meeting spaces when the full-sized space is not required.

MP also refreshed the design on the 25th floor to give it a more updated aesthetic, representing the firm’s growth and change in brand and culture.

In 2008 MP designed the new 36,000 square foot headquarters for Sapient, a global leader in business and technology consultancy, creating an open office and collaborative culture, which was indicative of the way the company was working at the time.

Four years later, the company expanded their market and acquired a new division called SapientNitro, an award-winning digital marketing and technology services firm. Due to this expansion, they leased an additional 22,000 square feet in their current building and re-hired MP to develop a new workplace strategy to reflect the changes in the company and to attract both clients and existing and new employees.

Through extensive research it was clear that Sapient was open to a dramatic change to their current culture: They no longer felt the need for a formal reception area, but rather a space that could be included in presentations and act as an impromptu meeting area for employees to bump into each other.

Rather than their current workstations, they have adopted the concept of condensed benching system to provide more pockets of space for alternative workplaces for individual and collaborative work, team meetings, and war rooms.

Sustainability

This project is certified LEED-Platinum.

Ten years after MP provided design services for Forrester’s 120,000 square foot headquarters in Cambridge, MA, their lease was expiring as they required more space. MP designed a new workplace strategy and assisted in selecting a new site for the company to continue its growth. Ultimately, the decision was made to move to a “build-to-suit” location where they could customize a six-story, 186,000 square foot building to accommodate their needs.

Forrester has a unique culture: there is not a single private office in the entire company. Everyone works in open “pods”: communities of low, flexible workstations defined by the placement of “team rooms” and other community spaces. All conference rooms are named for Rock ‘n Roll stars, with all floors themed by decade. Significant emphasis is placed on ready access to video conferencing and other audio-visual resources, as everyone works on a laptop and work is done wherever it is most efficiently accomplished – not just at the individual’s desk.

Forrester Research’s personality pervades the space. MP created a dramatic staircase and reception atrium to support Forrester’s goal of promoting a collaborative and enlivened atmosphere.

Sustainability

This project is certified LEED-Gold.

Avalon Bay’s move to the 20th floor of the Federal Reserve building was symbolic of the substantial success the company has had in the real estate investment market. Even with a high percentage of offices (versus workstations), leadership was committed to assuring that everyone had full visual access to both the harbor and downtown. This was achieved partly by creating a café immediately adjacent to the reception area, so that anyone entering or leaving the space could enjoy the window line. The adjacent training room has a moveable glass partition so full-company gatherings and hosted events can take advantage of the view.

One particularly striking design element is the treatment of the ceilings. To reinforce the size of the open spaces, ceiling clouds float below the exposed structure, creating a dramatic effect of height and a modern and elegant feel. Coupled with stunning artwork and graphics, sparkling light fixtures and subtle variances of color and texture, the result is a breathtakingly beautiful workplace for a company that values design.