WATERTOWN HAS IN RECENT YEARS BECOME A BURGEONING LIFE SCIENCES SUBCLUSTER, PROVIDING THE LAB SPACE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE INCREASINGLY LIMITED IN CAMBRIDGE’S KENDALL SQUARE RESEARCH CLUSTER.
As the Boston area is ground zero for technology and biotech companies, SGA was asked to design a lab-ready space within the second floor of Arsenal Yards Building A. Originally built in the 1800s, the practice had to creatively reposition the centuries-old structure with great consideration to its innate architectural framework. To compensate for the steeply slanted roof—unfriendly to mechanical lab equipment—SGA created mechanical wells to fit in between the existing bracing and trusses.
A similar approach was taken to carve exterior patios into the roofscape as well—amenities that are key to attracting top tenants. In order to find over 100,000 square feet of rentable area, the design team took advantage of the soaring 25-foot-high ceiling and built a spacious open mezzanine that fits within the trusses. Skylights were added in each bay to provide maximum natural light to a previously dimly lit environment. Original details of exposed brick and implementing reclaimed patina copper pay homage to its history, while innovative design brings the building’s function into the future.
With a ground floor that hosts retail and amenities all within walking distance, Arsenal Yards is the latest addition to the ever-developing area—a desirable destination with an upstart personality that has an eye on what’s next.