The design for a community workshop and gallery space is deeply rooted in site analysis, which informs the structure’s positioning on the site and its overall form. The greater site’s varied topography and dense residential network served as the inspiration for layering structural concrete walls at various angles across the site. The streets, which are angled due to the topography, and which result in unique diagonal density patterns, informed the angles of these walls. The primary programmatic space is elevated above the ground plane for two reasons: Firstly, it activates the ground plane for community use as a topographic sculpture garden; Secondly, it positions the gallery and workshop spaces at a vantage point that overlooks Mission Hill into Greater Boston. The elevation reflects the hill’s existing vantage point over Boston. The structure itself is a further reflection on this site analysis. A paddleford truss system is composed of a modular of four triangles measuring ten feet across whose angles speak to those of the concrete walls. Furthermore, the central atrium is supported via steel cables that extend from the interrupted truss to the concrete walls, resembling the rays of light as they fall across the site.
The program called for workshop and gallery space. The workshops are divided into two types: fire-dependent (glassblowing and metalwork) and fire-independent (woodwork and digital fabrication). These two typologies are separated into two volumes which interlock to form a mezzanine of double- and triple-height spaces so that workers and visitors on each side can interact. They are separated by a public open plaza atrium, which also recalls site analysis and the primary intersection of Brigham Circle, as well as opening to the street to embrace visitors. Galleries also look down into workshop space, and the double- and triple-height spaces permit larger artwork displays and for the noise and commotion of the workshops to imbue the entirety of the design. Meanwhile, the ten-foot wide concrete walls interior space functions as circulation and service space, housing stairways, bathrooms, and the café’s kitchen.