As technology continues to alter our work culture, companies face increasing pressure to provide the newest and most modern office environments for their employees. Shawmut Design and Construction demonstrated that the latest in office technology and expectations doesn’t require a brand new building, but can be perfectly at home in the right old building—in this case a brick-and beam South End warehouse. Built for the Emerson Piano Company in 1890, the building already had the open spaces and large windows valued in a modern office space. Transforming the existing, fragmented office layout into light-filled, modern, and beautiful new open office environments required coordination and agility in the project team and Shawmut’s staff. By preserving original beams, columns, and other fabric, the warehouse character complements the modern workstations and technologies of a 21st century company.
“Historic spaces can function in the most modern ways,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “In fact, embracing the historic character of a space rather than covering it up can create an environment that energizes innovation and creative thinking. Shawmut applied the skillful hand they’d honed over hundreds of historic projects in their own space, demonstrating that modern, high tech offices and historic buildings go hand in hand.”