Overview

Boston is an incubator for young, innovative brands, as well as multinational organizations with century-old origins. Just look at the rapidly developing Financial District and Seaport District, or Cambridge, with its infusion of Harvard Business School scholars. Listed here are the most successful workplace architecture firms in the area: the design houses that have demonstrated facility in serving the needs of Boston’s deeply entrenched medical community, its burgeoning technology centers, and its service and product-oriented entrepreneurs. These 10 Boston architectural practices that excel at both adapting historic spaces and building new corporate campuses.

Top Architects

10
SGA

Architects:
Al Spagnolo
Bill Gisness
Jeff Tompkins

Awards:
AGC Build New England Design Award,
IIDA New England Design Award,
IFMA New England Design Award

Address:
200 High Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02110

Contact:
857-300-2610 |
boston@sga-arch.com

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About SGA

Founded by Al Spagnolo, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB); Bill Gisness, AIA, and Jeff Tompkins, member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), SGA is a full-service practice offering architecture and interior design, as well as planning and environment branding. With offices in downtown Boston and Manhattan’s Flatiron District, the company employs more than 70 designers and staffers. Since its founding in 1991, SGA has earned recognition from national publications, plus design awards from AGC Build New England, IIDA New England, IFMA New England, and ENR New England.

“We provide thoughtful and innovative workplace design solutions that solve our clients’ business needs and reflect their unique cultures.” – Gable Clarke, IIA, LEED AP

Featured Projects

Puma invested more than $12M in SGA-designed headquarters in Westford. The over-120k-square-foot office building required the renovation of an existing building and the addition of a second story. It houses the shoe and athletic wear company’s sales and marketing teams, administrative staff, and most of their North American operations. The design employs clean lines and bright pops of Puma red to embody the brand. Gallery displays for historic moments in Puma design punctuate the building, which includes a 1.5k-square-foot gym and locker rooms. The eco-conscious design called for recycled materials and a state-of-the-art mechanical infrastructure, including photovoltaic solar panels. The New England Chapter of the International Design Association named the Puma headquarters best project larger than 80k square feet. As part of an ongoing partnership with LogMeIn, SGA designed a 117-square-foot expansion to the software company’s existing headquarters. To draw employees across the street from the previous SGA-built office, the design for the addition includes a recreation room, a gym with a basketball court, and a coffee bar. A converted loading dock serves as an outdoor patio for meetings and al fresco lunches. The project earned a Fan Favorite Boston Preservation Alliance Preservation Achievement Award.

9
Nelson

Architects:
John Nelson, Sr.
John “Ozzie” Nelson, Jr.

Awards:
Building Design + Construction Architecture/Engineering Giants,
Interior Design Magazine Design Giants in Workplace Design

Address:
99 Chauncy Street, 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02111

Contact:
617-778-7229 |
info@nelsononline.com

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About Nelson

John Nelson, Sr. established Nelson in 1977 as an interior design company. Today — under the leadership of the founder’s son, Chairman & CEO John “Ozzie” Nelson, Jr. — Nelson is an international architecture and design practice of more than 700 team members. With more than 22 offices around the world, Nelson has been able to build relationships with more than a fifth of the companies in the Fortune 100, including clients like Nielsen, an international data measurement corporation. The firm ranks among Building Design + Construction Architecture/ Engineering Giants list and is No. 3 on the Interior Design magazine list of design giants in workplace design.

Featured Projects

Nelson designed Google Cambridge, a multi-building campus that houses about 1200 of the technology company’s New England employees. Over four years, designers teamed with two contractors to create five structures, each reflective of a particular line of the MBTA “T” and that line’s surrounding neighborhoods. In Google fashion, each space takes on a unique theme. The cafe and lounge are inspired by the Public Gardens in the heart of Boston. Another employee lounge replicates a beach experience. The design didn’t sacrifice sustainability for aesthetics; much of the campus is certified LEED Gold or LEED Platinum. Nelson also designed the Verizon Innovation Center in Boston’s “technology corridor.” In tandem with a similar facility in San Francisco, the innovation center drives technological advancement for the telecommunications giant. Cutting-edge laboratories and top-of-the-line conference rooms offer engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators space to collaborate with each other and design the future of wireless technology. The design integrates the clean lines and cubic volumes one would expect from a laboratory setting, with arm wood floors and textured wall panels, more conducive to socialization.

8
McMahon Architects

Architects:
David McMahon

Address:
535 Albany Street, Suite 3F, Boston, MA 02118

Contact:
617-482-5353 |
info@mcmahonarchitects.com

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About McMahon Architects

David McMahon, AIA, NCARB, earned as Master of Architecture from Yale University before working with prestigious design firms I.M. Pei and Partners and CBT Architects. In 1997, McMahon established his eponymous firm and has served as President and CEO for the last 20 years. Meghann Van Dorn, LEED AP, ID+C, senior project manager and senior interior designer, brings to the team more than 10 years of experience in corporate design projects. Boston Business Journal, Boston.com, and The Boston Globe are among the publications that have profiled McMahon Architects workspace projects.

Featured Projects

Online home goods company Wayfair tapped McMahon Architects for the design of a new corporate headquarters in Boston. The 129k-square-foot, multi-story space in Back Bay is organized around a central staircase. Each level of the open, switchback stair is exposed to a mural commemorating a moment in Boston history, such as the transport of the Museum of Science’s brontosaurus statue, high above the Charles River. Floor-to-ceiling windows further incorporate the spirit of the city by affording employees expansive views. Cafeteria and lounge spaces channel Boston’s thriving art community — from graffiti walls to stylized booths — and encourage employees to gather and take a moment to relax. For Feldman Land Surveyors, McMahon Architects orchestrated the adaptive reuse of a Roxbury factory building. The complete gut and redesign created modern office layouts without destroying the 19th-century architecture. Exposed wood beams and brick walls frame the 18,910-square-foot headquarters. The third floor features a cathedral ceiling, enhanced with the addition of skylights. The contemporary office space includes an 800-square-foot gym.

7
CBT Architects

Architects:
Richard Bertman
Charles Tseckares
Maurice Childs

Awards:
IIDA New England Legacy Award,
Boston Preservation Alliance Preservation Achievement Award

Address:
110 Canal Street, Boston, MA 02114

Contact:
617-262-4354 |
morlot@cbtarchitects.com

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About CBT Architects

Thirteen principals steward the international firm, among them founders Richard Bertman, FAIA, LEED AP, and Charles Tseckares, FAIA. The third founder, Maurice Childs, passed away in 2005. The trio incorporated in Brookline in 1967 and expanded to a second office in Boston within the following year. Today, the firm consists of nearly 200 architects, planners, and interior designers, working out of offices on Canal Street in Boston, and in Abu Dhabi. The firm earned six design awards in 2017 — the year of its 50th anniversary — including an International Interior Design Association New England Legacy Award. CBT Architects workplace designs have garnered coverage from The Boston Globe and Boston Business Journal.

Featured Projects

CBT Architects earned Best in Office and Interior Design awards from IIDA New England, and a Preservation Achievement Award from Boston Preservation Alliance for their Shawmut Design + Construction headquarters design. The 75k-square-foot warehouse space was reworked to reflect Shawmut work culture. The design brought forward the brick and beam building infrastructure. Polished concrete floors and exposed ceiling beams underscore the client’s relationship with construction materials. Vertical louvered panels of natural wood beams add dimension and texture while allowing light to permeate each floor. Boston-based Liberty Mutual also partnered with CBT Architects to design an international headquarters space worthy of their New England pedigree. The multi-award-winning building — recognized by the International Facility Management Association, Boston Preservation Alliance, Marble Institute of America, and CoreNet — is a 22-story tower that provides the global insurance company more than 574k square feet of office space. An arched, glass bridge connects employees from the new, curved-edge structure to the Salada Tea Building. The LEED Gold-certified building includes a two-story cafeteria that serves meals to 5,000 employees.

6
Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler
Robin Klehr Avia
Joseph Brancato
Douglas C. Gensler
Jeanne M. Nutt

Awards:
ENR #1 Green Building Design Firm in Commercial Offices,
Building Design + Construction Giants #1 Office Sector Architecture Firm

Address:
One Beacon Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02108

Contact:
617-619-5700 |
info@gensler.com

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About Gensler

The ENR #1 Green Building Design Firm in Commercial Offices and the Building Design + Construction Giants #1 Office Sector Architecture Firm, Gensler also rises to the top of both publication’s overall lists. The firm maintains that strong workspace design can enhance the performance of a company and its staff. With 46 worldwide offices of their own and a client list that includes 40 of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list, Gensler has had many opportunities to test that theory. Regional Managing Principals Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA, and Joseph Brancato, AIA, have led office projects for Microsoft, Condé Nast and Young & Rubicam. The Boston office, which opened in 1993, is also overseen by co-Managing Principals Douglas C. Gensler, AIA, NCARB, and Jeanne M. Nutt, IIDA.

Featured Projects

Partners HealthCare is a network of hospitals and doctors and the largest private employer in Massachusetts. For the nonprofit’s Somerville campus, Gensler designed an 825k-square-foot complex that centralizes more than 4,000 members of Partners HealthCare’s administrative staff. The $465M Assembly Row office consolidates staff from 15 separate Boston locations. Eco-friendly features include a two-acre array of solar panels above the parking garage and a fully-automated, LED lighting system. Gensler has maintained a relationship with WilmerHale since 1992, when a workplace redesign commission spurred the creation of Gensler’s Boston office. Gensler and WilmerHale explored other sites before deciding to redesign the law office’s existing home at 60 State Street. The architecture giant redesigned all 12 floors to better position WilmerHale’s staff and to create room for the expanding firm.

5
Fusion Design Consultants

Architects:
John Kelly
Jennifer Peters
Michael Knauff
Chris Munro

Awards:
IIDA New England Interior Design Awards

Address:
300 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210

Contact:
617-737-3768 |
lmelchione@fusionboston.com

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About Fusion Design Consultants

In 2005, John Kelly founded Fusion Design Consultants, a multidisciplinary interior and graphics firm based in Boston’s Seaport District. Under the direction of Kelly as president and three principals — Jennifer Peters, Michael Knauff, and Chris Munro — the firm established a reputation in corporate workplace design before branching out to branding and creative design services. The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, and Curbed have profiled some of the firm’s corporate projects. Fusion Design Consultants has earned multiple awards from the New England chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, and Shaw Contract.

Featured Projects

Fusion Design Consultants provided design services and graphic branding for the creation of a Pandora sales office in downtown Boston. Interior workstations accommodate a mostly open floor plan with perimeter private spaces. Though natural light permeates the whole 5,300-square-foot workspace, employees of the internet radio company can enjoy taking a moment to bask in window seats and brainstorm together using writable plywood panels. To reflect the company and the city’s musical context, meeting rooms are known as “sound studios,” and larger conference areas are named and decorated in commemoration of landmark Boston venues. In a project for a more buttoned-up corporation, Fusion Design Consultants created a Boston office for national investment bank and asset management firm, Piper Jaffray. The 5,600-square-foot office spreads across the 33rd story of the First National Bank Building in the Financial District. A wood-slat, volumetric ceiling installation over the stone clad reception desk makes an immediate impression on visiting clients, without straying too far from the streamlined aesthetic Piper Jaffray had already established. Further eschewing the traditional model of flat front offices, each enclosed space is surrounded by a three-dimensional, wood veneer frame.

4
Interior Architects

Architects:
Reetika Vijay
David Bourke
Tom Powers

Address:
100 Oliver Street, Suite 210, Boston, MA 02110

Contact:
617-380-0777 |
r.vijay@interiorarchitects.com

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About Interior Architects

Fast Company Design, Inc. Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine have taken notice of the workplace designs of firm Interior Architects. Since its founding in 1984, Interior Architects has opened 19 offices throughout the United States and Canada, and partnered with another 60 offices abroad, for a total of more than 1,000 designers and administrative staff. Boston Managing Principal Reetika Vijay, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, studied architecture at Syracuse University and worked with prominent firm Sasaki Associates before joining Interior Architects as a managing director in 2012. With co-Presidents and CEOs David Bourke and Tom Powers, Vijay has led the firm to be a dominating presence in Boston’s workspace architecture landscape.

Featured Projects

Carbonite, a digital data storage and recovery service, called on Interior Architects to redesign a 50k-square-foot Boston office that would be functional and play to the technologically forward company’s need for flexibility. To consolidate Carbonite’s 400 employees into a single-floor space, Interior Architects devised a neighborhood concept that grouped open spaces and private offices with kitchenettes and lounge areas. Glass-front private offices and workstations along the window line maximize limited natural light. One windowless wall was wrapped in a large Star Wars mural — recalling the franchise where Carbonite got its name — to distract from the lack of a view. Interior Architects took home the IIDA New England People’s Choice Award for the design. Smart speaker pioneer Sonos worked with Interior Architects to create a Cambridge office that would suit their growing team. The design firm worked diligently to conceive of a workplace that took into account Sonos’ reliance on collaboration and transparency, as well as their technical needs for strong and varied acoustics. The office-free, open floor plan drives connection between employees at all levels, as do five lounge areas. Workstations have flexible configurations to accommodate any staffer’s preferences. At the center, a café and steel and wood staircase serve as a space for company-wide meetings, or just for hanging out. The 115k-square-foot project was covered by Design Milk, Boston Business Journal, CNBC, and The Boston Globe.

3
Hacin + Associates

Architects:
David Hacin

Awards:
IIDA New England Hospitality Design Award

Address:
500 Harrison Avenue, Studio 4F, Boston MA, 02118

Contact:
617-426-0077 |
info@hacin.com

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About Hacin + Associates

A New England Design Hall of Fame inductee, David Hacin, FAIA, established Hacin + Associates, a South End team of more than 20 designers. Twelve years after its founding, the architecture firm expanded to provide interior design services, and eventually would also offer graphic and furniture design, as well as branding services for their clients. Through their partnership with Sasaki Associates, Hacin + Associates works toward sustainable and boundary-pushing advancements in architecture. Hacin is a member of the Boston Civic Design Commission and a co-founder of the Design Industry Groups of Massachusetts. Under his direction as principal and creative director of Hacin + Associates, the firm’s workplace designs have been featured in Fast Company, Improper Bostonian, and Architectural Record.

Featured Projects

Hacin + Associates redesigned four floors of office space for the Downtown Crossing office of Arnold Worldwide/Havas. The project involved converting the space into office spaces, a bar and cafe, meeting rooms, private offices, and 4,000-square feet of space for photography and video production. The 7th and 8th floors are joined by a feature staircase with material finishes that play off the historic Burnham Building’s original architecture. The 116k-square-foot headquarters earned praise from The Boston Globe, and IIDA New England awarded the design Best Office Over 80,000 square feet. The Living Proof Headquarters in Cambridge contains 13.6k square feet of office space and laboratories designed to support the administrative staff and scientists behind the rapidly evolving beauty brand. The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine nabbed interviews with actress Jennifer Aniston — at the time an investor and celebrity spokesperson — when the facility opened. The kitchen at the center of the office is more than a stock amenity. A large blackboard and oversized island invite teams to use the space as a comfortable area to spread out and collaborate. Glass-walled conference rooms further emphasize transparency and connection.

2
Margulies Perruzzi Architects

Architects:
A, Daniel Perruzzi
Jason B. Costello
Janet Morra

Awards:
IES Boston Illumination Awards,
IFMA Boston Awards of Excellence

Address:
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

Contact:
617-482-3232 |
info@mp-architects.com

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About Margulies Perruzzi Architects

Formerly Margulies & Associates, this Boston architecture and interior design firm became Margulies Perruzzi Architects in 2008 — 20 years after Senior Partner Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP founded the company — to reflect the leadership role of Daniel Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP. Along with partners Jason B. Costello, AIA, LEED AP, and Janet Morra, AIA, LEED AP, Margulies and Perruzzi have built a clientele that includes Blue Cross Blue Shield, Massachusetts General Hospital, Fidelity Investments and other corporations embedded into the fabric of New England. According to Building Magazine, Margulies Perruzzi Architects is one of the top firms in the LEED AP, Green, and Office design categories. The firm’s work has also been recognized by the International Facilities Management Association Boston chapter, the International Interior Design Association, and the Illuminating Engineering Society.

Featured Projects

Zipcar contracted Margulies Perruzzi Architects to design a centralized headquarters in Boston’s Innovation District. The 46k-square-foot warehouse, known as the “Zipcar Building,” has been converted to house the national car-sharing company and their growing workforce. The eco-conscious design employs high-efficiency lighting and reclaimed materials to reduce the project’s environmental impact. Among the honors Margulies Perruzzi Architects earned for their design were the IIDA New England Chapter Best Office between 30,000-80,000 square feet and People’s Choice Awards. With help from Margulies Perruzzi Architects, information management company Iron Mountain moved their global headquarters to the One Federal Street highrise. The two-floor layout — which includes private offices, low-paneled workstations, and a variety of huddle rooms — earned the CoreNet Global New England Award of Excellence for Best New Workplace/Large Renovation, an IFMA Boston Best Practice Award of Excellence for Medium Projects, and the NEWiRE Achievement Award for Networking.

1
Actwo Architects

Architects:
Andrew Cohen
Thomas White

Awards:
AIA New England Citation Award

Address:
30 Boston Post Road, Wayland, MA 01778

Contact:
508-358-1077 |
office@ACTWOarch.com

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About Actwo Architects

Cornell University and Harvard Graduate School of Design alum Andrew Cohen, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, formed Andrew Cohen Architects in 1982. After 30 years building relationships with Boston-area clients, Cohen partnered with another accomplished architect, Thomas White AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, to form Actwo Architects. White worked with Andrew Cohen Architects for 17 years and now shares principal responsibilities with Cohen. The Boston Globe, the Boston Society of Architects, and the American Institute of Architects New England chapter are among the publications and institutions that have recognized Actwo Architects’ workspace designs. Actwo Architects alo tackles residential and institutional projects.

“I always believe that making a vibrant city with exciting visual environments has always been a strong motivator for me. “

-Andrew Cohen

Featured Projects

The Boston Globe covered the Actwo Architects design for Kayak, the online travel fare search engine. The internet company relocated from the suburbs to a two-floor office in Cambridge to draw Boston’s top tech talent. Adhering to Kayak’s standard, Actwo Architects designed an open floor plan without any traditional, enclosed offices. Informal meeting spaces are offset by partial, wood-slat enclosures. Conference rooms in various sizes are wrapped in glass walls to keep sightlines open and not interfere with lighting. A bi-level community space, includes a kitchen, a lounge, a café, and an amphitheater for company-wide meetings. The Boston Globe also took notice of the Actwo Architects design for Intarcia Therapeutics’ new Boston digs. The Seaport District expansion created 13.5k square feet of office and meeting spaces for the fast-growing developer of diabetes medications. The spread is defined by glass walls, patterned ceiling soffits, and built-in functional areas, like a pristine, flat-front galley kitchen.

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