Workplace design at the intersection virtual & physical
Global data and technology company ERT engaged KSS to design its Boston workplace, having successfully worked together to reimagine its Philadelphia headquarters and Cleveland office. The KSS team developed design concepts derived from the specific work and/or unique local context of each office location. For the company’s Boston office, which focuses on developing software for gathering and synthesizing patient data during clinical trials, the design team found inspiration in the intersection of the virtual world, represented by ERT’s data cloud, and the physical world, embodied by Boston.
In the virtual world, data is often represented through scatter plot graphs. Inspired by this concept, the team overlaid a sample field of points onto the floor plan, using the points to draw a connecting line among the office’s three nodes (important gathering spaces). An abstracted ceiling cloud, created by a suspended hexagonal ceiling tile system, mimics the connecting line, knitting the spaces together and providing wayfinding throughout the office.
Considering the physical world at the ground plane, the design references the Emerald Necklace, an 1,100-acre chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways in Boston. A series of neighborhoods connected by paths with branded nodes spread throughout the office, bringing this concept to life. The Hill, situated with views to Boston, acts as a vibrant hub from which energy radiates. Inclusive of the reception area and visible from the elevator bank, the Hill is an outward-facing representation of ERT Boston. Conversely, the Common is an enclosed communal space, a comfortable area for socialization. The third node, the Yard, offers employees an open, relaxed environment conducive to both collaboration and solo work.