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50 Beyond: Creating The Concept

20 June 2019

After compiling the results from the Thought Starter exercises, taking a closer look at the overall downtown Boston landscape and the Dyer Brown culture, we drew inspiration from the formation and structure of geodes.

WARNING: the following is a minor science lesson – bear with us! It’s worth the read in order to understand our concept. Just pretend you’re back in high school for a moment…

A geode is a hollow, vaguely circular rock with a plain exterior, but when cracked open, contains surprising, beautiful crystals. They are created within volcanic rock, where they start out as bubbles, or within sedimentary rock, where it might start out as an animal burrow, mud deposit or tree roots. Over time, dissolved minerals seep into hollow areas, forming a durable outer shell. Water continues to flow, picking up minerals on its course, and seep inside the walls of the shell, allowing a variety of crystals to form over many, many years.

See? It wasn’t that painful, right?

So… how does the concept and formation of a geode apply to Dyer Brown’s new office? There are many comparisons we can make: our evolution over the past 50 years, we are more than what you see, and the fluid energy we create within our space. We drew from the historic characteristics of the building and city as well as the energy of our space and culture; both of which are similar to the traits of a geode – a hard shell on the outside with an exciting atmosphere on the inside.

We wanted to create an active core – an ‘energized’ place where colleagues and visitors could gather both formally and informally – and the rest of the space would have ‘pockets’ to capture the rippled energy. We placed key words and ideas generated from the Thought Starter exercises onto our fit plan to ensure our layout fully captured the needs and desires of the rest of our team. We used the thesis statement as a “checks and balances” tool when an idea or element was incorporated into the final design.

The Result

We adapted our brand colors to create a more energetic and timeless palette, embodying the rich and bold colors typically seen in geode crystals. We drew inspiration from residential and hospitality design to create the desired ‘cozy, comfortable yet professional’ atmosphere the team discussed during the visioning exercises.

Alternating light levels and accent fixtures seamlessly blend together, while layered hexagon elements are reflective of the structure of geode crystals and implement the concept of “evolution” and “new direction.”

We designed the front-facing reception area as a coffee bar, instead of a traditional reception with a couch. We wanted our clients and industry partners to grab a cup of coffee and instantly be immersed into the DBA culture and action. Our meeting rooms range in design and functionality to accommodate the various tasks and work postures that happen throughout the day. More formal rooms provide a professional backdrop for client meetings, lounge-style rooms support informal conversation, while soft seating in individual-use rooms provide a place to reflect and re-energize.

Day One through Day 52 and beyond have been exciting days for us. As designers of other corporate interior projects, you don’t always get to experience direct feedback when the end users move in to a new space. Seeing our coworkers experience the new amenities and features that they asked for during the visioning sessions was very rewarding. And who knew our grade school Geology courses would come in handy in the real-world?

Post authored by

Alex E. Dupnik
Project Manager
Dyer Brown Architects

Alessandra Susi
Assistant Project Manager
Dyer Brown Architects

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