Behnisch in Boston
With ever-rising energy prices, commercial tenants in office buildings have begun to consider the increasing cost of heating, cooling, and lighting their spaces as a "second rent." Savvy developers and architects are responding to their concern by making new buildings far more energy efficient than in the recent past.
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Now that owners and tenants are hopping on the sustainability bandwagon, it is not surprising that the mission of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) appears, finally, to be gaining wide acceptance in American architecture.
The German firm Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner has made a contribution to this trend in the Genzyme Center, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Considering material use and indoor air quality as well as energy consumption, the architects planned the bio-tech company's building to qualify for a "platinum" rating under the USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.
In addition to its own offices, the 350,000-square-foot (32,000-square-meter), 12-story Genzyme headquarters building includes publicly accessible restaurants and retail areas. These are centered on a full-height atrium that distributes light to every floor. The huge volume, made sparkly by a reflective mobile, is the focus of an open and clearly articulated circulation system.
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The Genzyme Center, by Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Photo: Roland Halbe
Light-filled atrium of the Genzyme Center.
Photo: Anton Grassl
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