Selected by MIT Department of Facilities, ADD Inc’s design of MIT Skoltech Initiative’s office space in Cambridge, MA, brings together two international programs into one shared floor in order to improve efficiencies, synergies and collaboration among its international staff, faculty and students.
The new 18,500 square foot office consists of private offices, shared team offices, open work areas and student workspace with breakout and meeting space where employees can congregate as a team. Efficient lounge-to-lab-to conference environments and multifunctional furniture used throughout enables expansion or reduction as each group’s needs evolve.
ADD Inc mixed vibrant colors with traditional textures and patterns found in architecture and textile design to represent the commonality between the different cultures within the groups without being culturally specific. Accent lighting, iconographic objects from different regions and abstract city maps help identify each group’s culture while maintaining an equal level of transparency with no hierarchy.
“This project challenged ADD Inc to implement design strategies that promote collaboration between groups and represent a common international language without using cultural stereotypes,” stated Lisa Killaby, IIDA, LEED AP, Principal, ADD Inc.
MIT Skoltech’s open-floor layout assures sunlight throughout the space. Glass-walled offices and low-walled workstations convey transparency. The use of gradated film on glass-walled offices and conference rooms transition a room from opaque to transparent space and blurs the lines between private and common, personal and shared spaces. Writeable glass surfaces double as idea space for individual thought and team sessions.
Flooring was used to provide visual cues for quiet and active areas throughout the office, and different patterns of carpet tile were used to evoke area rugs within common spaces and team environments. In addition, ceiling canopies were designed to create connections between the different groups and emphasize the shared space.
The café and lounge spaces are strategically located to maximize access and encourage interaction. The layout provides functional, flexible options for small and larger group meetings. Integrated audio-visual equipment facilitates video conferencing promotes interaction with remote colleagues.