The Ziggurat renovation was inspired by the spatial characteristics of the existing space and the way that natural light, if properly channeled and reflected, could bathe the space in a soft ethereal light. The quality of light, coupled with the glassy materiality and soft geometries of new walls, is meant to blur and soften the boundaries of the space. At the same time, we imagine the changing color of natural light will render the white surfaces in ever-changing subtle hues.This approach was inspired by the quiet conversations, concentrated thinking, and self-reflection that we imagine will happen in the Ziggurat. Simultaneously, we imagine a different dynamic during the evenings while hosting events. Being able to spill out to the roof terrace from the softly-lit space to admire the views of the Charles and the skyline beyond at dusk will be inspiring and memorable for regular users and visitors alike.
Central to the space would be a collaboration area that can be configured for daily work space and reconfigured with flexible furniture for events, lectures and exhibitions. With a potential connection to the outside through roof deck access, the space could also be an access point for others in the department to work outside, get some light or enjoy lunch on the deck.
Central to our scheme will be developing a strategy for distribution of mechanical ventilation, sprinkler piping and conduit through a reworked mezzanine floor composition and furring space along a thickened outer wall. We will work with RFS to minimize the visual impact of HVAC equipment, to avoid dropped ceilings or exposed ductwork and envision distributing fresh air through ductwork in the thickened walls and mezzanine floor which would be heated and cooled by fan coil units located around the perimeter of the space. Above the required fan coils, this thickened wall can be used to host shelving and lighting, and to continue upward into an acoustic plaster ceiling finish, becoming a programmed wrapper that enables the full exposure of existing roof structure. the important function that the built environment can play in providing space for interaction and introspection, and being a home of shared experience, and will seek to create spaces that are as functional as they are aspirational; upgrading building systems for the 21st century, designing for acoustic separation and dampening as needed, bringing in diffuse natural daylight, and relating back to our surroundings by providing visual connection
Studio Re+N team members led the development of the above project as project architect while employed by Utile Inc. Image courtesy of Utile Inc.