For the new Boston office of Duck Creek Technologies, Spaceworks AI provided a varied scope: nearly 500 linear feet of office fronts with frameless glass doors, a kitchen area with partial height and trapezoid-shaped glazing, an angled glass reception wall, and a fire-rated glass and door assembly for the entry.
It was the focal wall in the aptly-named Innovation Center, however, that became the star of the project. Serving as a high-tech conference room, specialty glazing, mirrors, framing, and millwork were combined to create a floor-to-ceiling media wall that would make an impression.
The initial driver behind the design of the Innovation Center media wall was simple: how do we take a glass feature wall and give it visual interest and depth? The answers, of course, are never quite as simple. While multiple printed layers or deep carving offered obvious solutions, they also came with high added costs. With the large area to cover and the other technology it would need to incorporate, the solution had to be one that was simple, elegant, and innovative, all at a reasonable price.
Once the design was finalized with the innovative solution outlined below, there were still several challenges to overcome. A main concern was the detail where the wall ended; due to the multi-layered concept, an area remained open there between glazing panels. A combination of 3-D printed endcaps for the framing and a specially ordered narrow piece of notched glass provided a sleek enclosure.
Another question that arose was the condition at the angled entry wall, which would bisect the feature wall at one point. By utilizing Litespace [Spaceworks AI's proprietary framing system] as both the entry and feature wall framing, we were able to carefully construct an intersection between these two focal areas.
The Innovation Center wall at Duck Creek is built as several layers of glazing held in different planes. The base layer is extra-thick drywall, built up to prevent the sound of the integrated televisions from leaking into the conference rooms behind. Breaking up the face of the wall are millwork "boxes" built to house the television screens.
Onto this base wall, we adhered large pieces of 1/4" standard mirror glass carefully ordered to fit the area. These surrounded the millwork and completely covered the drywall from view. Through close coordination with the architect and millworker, we installed framing housed within the millwork, wrapping the media boxes as well as the perimeter of the wall.
This framing holds the second plane of glazing work: large pieces of sandblasted glass, custom etched to a detailed pattern provided by the architect. Because the glass is clear between the etched lines, the mirror behind is visible and reflects the pattern back. This gives the wall the appearance of depth and movement in a way that changes constantly as one moves within the space. Thin pieces of mirrored glass cover the ceiling, floor, and any other visible spaces between the two planes, amplifying this effect.
Oftentimes a project is approached by evaluating its needs and then simply choosing a familiar product that comes close. This job was innovative in that the glazing solution created was completely custom, designed and built specifically to meet the requirements and goals of this space.
As mentioned, there were other glazing products that might have been used here, but each had drawbacks that meant they were just not quite the right fit. Spaceworks worked together with IMagic [our specialty glass partner] and the architect to plan out a completely new and inventive custom solution. We then coordinated extensively to combine our own framing and glazing with the millwork and drywall conditions, making sure each piece of the installation would work together perfectly. This was particularly vital on a job where each detail is magnified and reflected by three dimensions of mirror!
The end result was a visually stunning feature wall unlike any other we've found. The mirrored glazing provides amazing depth and reflection throughout the room. The custom etched pieces appear to float forward, echoing the detail of the pattern. Combined, the wall projects a contemporary and inventive aesthetic that perfectly complements the Innovation Center for which it was designed.