The client is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of its employees. In 2017, the client was recognized as a Top Place to Work in the Boston area. On receiving the award, Peter Bauer, the CEO, commented, “At the end user, we’re dedicated to what we call ‘The End User Way’ which is all about building a company with a great culture, full of people who are authentic, hungry to learn and able to celebrate success.” The space they were leaving behind, also designed by this firm, and played a role in reinforcing that great culture. So, the key project objective for 191 Spring was to continue to reflect this culture by creating a space that further promoted the client’s Way. The interiors had to be inspiring, clever, quirky yet sophisticated. It had to be maximally efficient yet welcoming, demonstrating corporate success while simultaneously maintaining the scrappy, thrilling chaos of a start-up. The space had to be designed to suit the 430 employees, a young workforce with a “I can work anywhere” attitude. The client required a place of invention, where ideas for modern technologies could find a way to grow into market-leading innovation. It had to be a healthy place to be, healthy for the people who occupied the space and environmentally friendly to the Lexington landscape.
The project embarked on creating a productive, fun and holistic environment following the principles of Activity Based Working. The spaces are designed to create opportunities for each person to find where they work best. Sunlight and views to the bright floor to ceiling windows and the enormous central atrium skylight are accessible to all. Neighborhoods of ergonomic height adjustable desking are offset by numerous demo and meeting rooms. There are spaces for engineering collaboration, informal brainstorming and formal conferences. The Lawn, with its soft artificial turf under the atrium skylight, provides a space for a rest on lounge chairs, an all-hands presentation on the stadium seating or even a game of touch football. Meanwhile, private nooks and crannies in the Chill Zone, or technology-free Quiet Carriages offer peaceful areas. The Library, tucked under the stadium seating, is a hideaway for the research that generates the innovations the client can build their business on. The real fun begins with a nod to the founders’ South African roots, The Shebeen is at the center of the community. With textural surfaces scrapped together from reclaimed metals, woods and poured in place concrete. The Café, with smoothie bar, reinforces healthy refueling, and has direct access to a private outdoor patio connecting people to the outdoors. The workplace in 2018 is full of energy, health encouragement and appreciation of environment. 191 Spring Street is now more than just a place to work, it is a place to live.