Building software developer Autodesk recently invited Inhabitat to a media event at their architecture, engineering, and construction headquarters in Waltham, MA, just west of Boston for their 2012 Building Suite roll out. While there, we took a closer look at their unique LEED Platinum office and information center. The project is an opportunity for Autodesk to showcase their software capacity in developing a high energy performance environment while providing a bright and comfortable office for their staff. The quirky design by Kling Stubbins takes a ho-hum shell and injects it with a lot of playful and intriguing public spaces, bright work stations, and colorful meeting rooms.
The original 65,000 square foot building shell was bumped up to a LEED Gold Core and Shell before Autodesk renovated the interior to achieve a LEED Platinum certification for Commercial Interior. Using their Revit software, they made a detailed 3-D model of the space using laser measurements as described by Phil Bernstein FAIA, VP of Industry Strategy. The model was inserted into their Ecotect Analysis tool to develop the environmental strategies.
The first thing that struck us is the extraordinary amount of daylight in what looks like a typical office building. An atrium at the entrance hints at the unique office spaces with two small yellow glassed meeting rooms hovering above. The upper story workstations wrap around the open floor plan with glass enclosed meeting rooms at the core. The result is not only good light but good sight lines, making full use of the open floor plan. Lights automatically dim or shut off when the sun shines in.
Adjacent to the lobby is the gallery crowned with a unique wooden atrium. The undulating plywood forms come up from behind the receptionist desk and flow above the display area. Their intricate form was developed using Autodesk’s Inventor software which was used on the fabricator’s CNC machine. The gallery is a walk through of some of the more intriguing buildings Autodesk is a part of, with models and projections of the projects on the wall, including a prefabricated mid-rise. The connecting hallways have a surprising lighting system that runs up from the ground and wraps to the ceiling.
The project was also a demonstration of Autodesk’s vision of integrating owners, designers, and builders using the design package Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which is intended to promote integrated design amongst all stake holders. Now the word is all about Building Information Modeling or BIM and fully integrating software between all building professionals from bricks to cities.
Photos © Inhabitat