Posts tagged with "New Balance":

David Manfredi on how democratic design principles shaped New Balance’s new headquarters

"Everybody values the opportunity to connect, it's changing the way we think about space," says David Manfredi, who is a co-founder of the Boston-based firm Elkus Manfredi Architects. His firm completed the New Balance headquarters, also in Boston, in 2015 and Manfredi this week spoke to The Architect's Newspaper (AN), discussing how democratic design principles such as openness and connectivity shape his approach to architecture.  When the owner of New Balance, Jim Davis, hired Elkus Manfredi Architects to design the shoe company's headquarters, he told the architects to visit an old textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts and report what they saw. There, David Manfredi encountered a four story high, 600-foot-long riverside former mill, now occupied by New Balance, who uses it as a factory. "It’s beautiful classic New England building," Manfredi told AN. (A short video on the building can be found below).  "We found this incredible work environment that was designed for all these people to sit at their machines," he continued. "What I really saw was that everything that we strive for in the modern workplace. [Jim Davis] wanted us to see the quality of the space, the high ceilings… and how open and collaborative the whole space was." The experience aligned with Manfredi's design ethos. At New Balance's headquarters, 650 people occupy the building yet there are only four private offices. "The historic traditional world of workspaces was related to stature. The boss’s room with a view, that’s all gone. We work now in environments where we now value connections to other people and not square footage," Manfredi argued. In addition to a new headquarters, Davis also wanted a new health and wellness district including offices, dwellings, wellness facilities and a world-class training center. "It's not just about making a building, it’s about creating a 360-degree environment," said Manfredi. The architect applied the same principles to address Davis' demands. Wellness (a topic that was featured in AN's recent print issue), openness, and connectivity all require the careful articulation of light, among other things. Apertures and openings, particularly in facade design, were crucial to these elements being successful. "We had to create a whole series of destinations, making sidewalks with uses that engage pedestrians, such as shops and usable open space where kids want to play."

"Our approach was that we wanted to be open, but this doesn't mean sprawling out with unnecessary surface parking," Manfredi added. "That way of thinking is in the past. Collaborating has changed, we achieve progress when connected, not in private. This is also a place for the next generation. Because of technology, we share everything online now—even my kids do it! My children and others won’t change when they get in the work workplace, they will expect to work in this environment of open innovation."

For this to happen, Manfredi argued that he had to "treat as much as the environment as publicly accessible, not trying to privatize, but instead to be democratic, so that spaces stay active past common hours of usage." An example of this can be seen with the Boston Warrior Ice Arena, where transparency facilitates a legible typological reading of the building. "How often to see an ice arena that has 40 feet of glass?" asked Manfredi. 

David Manfredi will be speaking at the upcoming Facades+ conference this June. There, he will discuss this project and others in greater detail. To find out more about the Facades+ Boston conference and register, visit facadesplus.com. Seating is limited.

Soft Landing: New Balance Breaks Ground on Boston Headquarters

Construction has commenced on a new $500 million Elkus Manfredi–designed headquarters for New Balance Athletic Shoes, called New Brighton Landing, located on 14 acres in the Allston Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Besides the 250,000-square-foot world headquarters, the campus will also include additional office space, a sports complex, 175-room hotel, three office buildings, retail space, parking, and a new stop on the Worcester Line commuter rail. The new station will be fully subsidized by the athletics brand. Overall, the new facility will encompass nearly 1.5 million square feet.

New Balance to Build Commuter Rail Station as Part of Boston Headquarters Expansion

It has been five decades since there has been a commuter rail station in Brighton, but this will soon change. MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey and New Balance Chairman James S. Davis announced this summer that they will build a new Worcester Line commuter station, and just a few days ago, the sports apparel company gave word that it is slated to open in 2014. The station, New Brighton Landing, will be part of New Balance’s $500 million development complex that will serve as the company’s headquarters and also include a hotel, a sports facility, retail space, and parking. Elkus Manfredi Architects and Howard/Stein Hudson Associates will design the 250,000-sq-ft headquarters. In June,  MassDOT said that New Balance has agreed to "fund all permitting, design, and construction costs for the station and fund annual maintenance costs" for the $16 million New Brighton Landing station.