swissnex Boston - Photos by Ian Hester
By Ian Hester, BArch Candidate
Natural light is indubitably an important feature in design, yet it is often underutilized. Effective usage of it can lead to increased energy performance in a building, as well as improved health and comfort levels for the people who live and work there. These benefits of natural light were the focus of the design process of Muriel Waldvogel, of Geneva-based architecture firm Convergeo, in her design for the addition to the swissnex Boston building in Cambridge.
|The glass addition does not seem out of place with the brick|
The residential side is largely opaque, to respect the privacy of neighbors
The second story glass pavilion-style space, which is surrounded by an extensive green roof, reflects the organization's mission statement by applying glass in an innovative fashion to create specific lighting conditions for the dual purposes of both sustainability and the health and well-being of the employees. The use of a low emissivity coating on the glass improves the energy usage of the building throughout the year, while allowing the natural light to permeate the entire area of the addition.
|The glass wall curves in to create stronger light in certain areas|
|The setback of the addition maintains the brick masonry street edge|
If you have a chance, head over to 420 Broadway in Cambridge, across the street from the Cambridge Public Library, and take a look at this building. It is quite difficult to find parking, so if you can, just take the T to Harvard Square Station and walk over.