Forsyth Laboratory Expansion
The inspiration for our design reflects the history of discoveries and advancements made by the scientists and clinicians who have worked cloistered away behind the monumental walls of the Institute for over 90 years. Our proposal opens the Forsyth Institute to the outside world by introducing a high level of transparency in the new laboratories and inviting the outside landscape to flow into the center of the building. The laboratories are arrayed in two splayed arms that capture a multi-level landscaped public space, which is the focus of interaction and communication among the buildings users. The complexities of the site and context create a different set of conditions to be reconciled on each side of the new building:
The west side faces more monumental conditions created by the Museum of Fine Arts buildings and tree-lined Avenue Luis Pasteur. Here the building enters into a dialog with the grand museum and street by utilizing large scale building elements and a very high level of transparency that extends clear back to the original Forsyth building through an open, multilevel atrium.
The south side faces Hemenway Street, which is distinctly residential and pedestrian in scale. The building continues the theme of transparency, but the facade elements are adjusted to relate to the scale of a narrower street and sidewalk environment. The scheme also proposes facade modifications to improve the appeal of the existing 1969 modular concrete facade, which currently stands as a blank and un-engaging wall to the street.
The east side interfaces with the existing Forsyth buildings, where it aligns and extends existing circulation systems in order to maximize connectivity and transparency between old and new.
Chris Iwerks served as Design Principal while with Shepley Bulfinch