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A theory for open building

Monday, 5 December 2011

Why do buildings last? How do we design flexible spaces that can change and adapt? 

A team from Shepley took on this question as part of the Open Building conference at Build Boston last month. The conference tasked three firms – Shepley, Payette, and Cannon – to propose a building that would evolve over time to house multiple uses on a large scale site in Somerville. We took the long historical view and, after a week of exhaustive debate, found that architectural systems which are designed to change rarely work or ...[more]

The ultimate start-up: Harvard innovation lab makes it official

Friday, 18 November 2011

It’s dedication day for Harvard’s innovation lab in Boston, but the buzz has been building all fall.

Shepley worked with Harvard to fast-track the creation of Batten Hall and the i-lab, transforming the old studios of WGBH into a high-energy space for campus and community. Say goodbye to the studios where Julia Child and Zoom! were filmed and hello to workshops and wide-open (and wired) spaces.

Or should we say ‘Hi,’ in the spirit of the i-lab’s signature logo, which Shepley created as part of the innovation lab’s brand?

Even before today’s events, i-lab director Gordon ...[more]

In defense of good design

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

What is the value of design? Businesses and institutions struggle with this question on a regular basis as they weigh concerns about budget, timing, and a variety of other factors against the priority of design. Several organizations, like Apple Computer, have seen the benefit of prioritizing design, and have made it a part of their core message.

As the this Oct. 10 New York Times article points out, good design can have a powerful impact on the urban landscape. One city, New York, has lately taken the initiative to prioritize good design in new public buildings. As architects, we take the advantages of strong design for granted. How can ...[more]

Dartmouth-Hitchcock cited as exemplar of flexible design

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Shepley Bulfinch’s design of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is cited as a model of how to design for flexible implementation in Richard De Neufville’s new book, Flexibility in Engineering Design, published by MIT Press in September. The original design of the medical center, which opened in 1991, enabled subsequent vertical and horizontal expansion.

The book offers a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. For Dartmouth-Hitchcock, that meant development and execution of a ...[more]

Discovery and delight: Tad Jusczyk’s long road to Venice

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tad Jusczyk gave everyone at Shepley a remarkable new perspective as he journeyed from Xi’an to Venice this past summer as Shepley Bulfinch’s inaugural Howe Traveling Fellow. As Tad traveled we shared his discoveries and observations on his blog, The Long Road to Venice. Since his return, they have enriched our design dialogue.

His journeys were also documented in Tour de Force, a Boston Society of Architects’ online feature and slideshow.

The Howe Traveling Fellowship is a grant for travel and exploration for Shepley Bulfinch staff, supported by the firm to honor ...[more]

Shepley in the spotlight among top US design firms

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

“We’re #27.” OK, it may not trip off the tongue, but it sounds pretty good to us.

Shepley moved up the ranks of the country’s “Design Giants” in the results of a national survey just released by Building Design + Construction magazine. With an overall ranking at #27 in the annual survey, the firm came in 26th among university design firms and 48th among healthcare design firms. The magazine gives a shout-out to Marquette Law School with a photograph of the school’s Zilber Forum as the survey’s featured higher education project.

Shepley, which now uses ...[more]

Healthcare facility evaluation by design practitioners

8 July 2011

Design and Health: 7th World Congress & Exhibition, Boston, MA

Angela Watson, AIA, Principal, Shepley Bulfinch
Mardelle Shepley, FAIA, Director, Center for Health Systems & Design

The design of… government

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

An interesting read from Metropolis on how IDEO is working with different federal agencies (“IDEO takes on the government“) to design better and more humanized processes – further proof that design thinking has the power to change even non-material things.

I was especially taken with the descriptions of the interactive charrette-type exercises that everyone wanted to be involved in. People are excited to share what they know in a creative way.

It seems to be a change for a governmental system that is structured to give power to the representative few. ...[more]