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Innovating the Municipal Office

The Dudley Square* Municipal Office Facility, now under construction in Boston, is a great example.

Recently featured in BD+C’s “6 Visionary Strategies for Local Government Projects,” the building will become the new home to the Boston Public Schools (BPS)—the oldest school department in the US. Currently, the BPS offices are spread across various buildings around the city, traditionally configured, and filled with many decades’ worth of documents. For their new offices, we’re drawing from our private sector work to facilitate a more collaborative, flexible, and transparent work environment that celebrates what is unique about BPS, and promotes sustainability.

Collaboration. Creative, innovative work today is achieved more and more through team-based methods. The newest generation of workers has been educated on this model, and expects to be working collectively. Offices that can easily provide for a variety of collaborative spaces are more productive and desirable.

Flexibility. The workspace can no longer be viewed as just a desk, but rather as a collection of spaces, each well suited to particular tasks. This means that individual workspaces get smaller—but we’ve found office workers typically spend less than half their time working at their desks anyway! Instead of seeing the reduction in personal square footage as a loss, the sum of these spaces can be seen as a significant net gain for both individuals and teams.

Transparency. Office workers today want to be part of the action, to feel included and know what’s going on. They also sit with their laptops at Starbucks, because that’s where the energy and activity is. The most functional offices today are open, visible, and connected—while still allowing for moments of quiet and privacy.

Identity. Groups big and small want to be noticed. People look for spaces that are easily recognizable, that have an address, and that say something meaningful that differentiates them.

Sustainability. A green work environment has become not only critical to productivity, but also to the ability to recruit and retain the best talent. Energy efficiency, healthy materials, access to the outdoors, and natural light are incredibly important in today’s workplace.

Our experience demonstrates the power of design to shape and improve our clients’ business. We’re delighted to work with a forward-thinking organization like BPS, and can’t wait to see this come to fruition for them.

*Dudley Square was renamed to Nubian Square in 2019


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