Tree Rooms Conferencing Suite

As a part of our client’s facility re-branding, we were tasked with replacing their existing, out-of-date conferencing suite. The space was originally built in the 1920s as a basketball court, but had been remodeled in 1972 to serve as a conferencing center, auditorium, and storage facility. The space had been forgotten since then, and much of it was boarded up and no longer used. Fortunately, it turned out to be a well-preserved hidden gem, with large, dramatic windows, aged-brick walls, a skylight and view of the building’s iconic clock tower. Inspired by the historic aspects of the existing space as well as our client’s need for high-tech facilities, our design focused on a contrasting mix of old and new. We re-exposed the brick, windows, and skylight, but also added modern elements with glass, metal, and wood.

Completed in 2015, the project renovated a total of 15,805 square feet for a construction cost of $10,000,000. There are ten conference rooms in total, eight smaller rooms (which seat around 12 people each), one large conference room (which seats around 25 people), and one auditorium (which seats 200 people). Each room is outfitted with technologically advanced conferencing equipment, and there are a variety of flexible work surfaces to accommodate different needs. There are additional public areas for socializing or other less formal gatherings, as well as a café. The revitalized architecture of the conferencing suites helped reinvigorate our client’s corporate culture, and inspired them to undergo a full internal re-branding.

The Shaw products we used, despite their obvious aesthetic value, contributed to the overall design of the space. Each room is named after a particular type of tree, and we wanted the design to distinguish the groupings of conference spaces. Each room has the same high-end finish, but the depth, texture, and patterning of the Shaw Contract carpeting helped identify the rooms. Each product was chosen because it complements the colors and design of its surroundings, and because they work together to create visually distinct spaces that still felt as if they were part of a unified design. By having the same carpet style, the dye lab, in such varied colors we were able to create several rooms that were cohesive but not identical.

Our client did not have specific sustainability goals for this project, but we were able to minimize its environmental impact in several ways. Our client is located in a historic building, which meant our first task was asbestos abatement. Following environmental clean-up, the existing space was well-preserved, which meant we could incorporate much of the existing architecture into our design. We used the existing exposed brick walls in several places and took advantage of the many large windows in order to decrease dependence on artificial light.

Location

Springfield, Massachusetts, USA

Design Firm

Tecton Architects

Segment(s)

Workplace
  • Midsize Office