Boston Society of Architects Headquarters
Architect: Hashim Sarkis Penn Ruderman (project coordinator), Cynthia Gunadi 2010
Three glass boxes animate the new BSA in this proposal. They organize the spaces around them and generate a multiplicity of activities inside. Housing the main public programs of the BSA, these boxes adjust in shape and size in order to meet a wide range of activities and enhance the BSA’s public engagement.
A double-height volume at the entrance of the BSA is visible to visitors from the street. This box changes with the changes in public activities. It consists of:
- A multi-door glass façade to the street
- a main stair
- retractable grand stair (bleachers)
- foldable panels
- operable glass enclosure
These elements are adjusted in order for the same space to house a variety of programs such as exhibitions, receptions, meetings, and lectures. For example, when the grand stair is open, it could serve as a large welcoming entrance to the exhibition space upstairs. It could also serve as lecture space with the retractable partitions along the facade controlling the degree of visibility to the street. It could also serve as an extension of the exhibition space on the upper level.
When the grand stair is retracted, the cleared area could itself serve as lobby or as exhibition or reception space.
These two glass boxes are placed in the staff zone of the BSA. One of them consists of three rooms with partitions between them to accommodate a variety of sizes of group sizes and activities. The two rooms are surrounded by curtains that can be adjusted to control light and visibility. They are also surrounded by closets for storage of furniture and equipment to facilitate quick changes in use. The staff spaces are distributed between the outer perimeter of the building and the conference boxes. They can be laid out in a free open space manner or they can be sequestered with high partitions for privacy.