Building 39 Entry Screen
Watertown, Massachusetts

The historic buildings comprising athenahealth’s international headquarters a 29-acre campus located at the Arsenal on the Charles include Building 39, a six-story brick factory constructed in 1922. As part of the overall renovation to Building 39, and to create a stronger connection to the existing campus, Charles Rose Architects relocated the primary building entry to face the largest and most populated building on the Arsenal campus.

To both highlight the new entry and to conceal an existing, yet temporary warehouse structure,we designed a lightweight perforated metal screen that will mask an existing warehouse façade, while also providing a clear entry point with new entry doors. The screen is composed of thin powder-coated aluminum panels fastened to a lightweight steel tube structure. The design approach emphasizes the oblique direction of movement from east to west along the warehouse façade. To highlight this sense of movement and connection, the visual composition of the screen changes subtly, but continuously as the visitor moves towards it.

The screen perforations create a large-scale graphic across represents foliage, inspired by the athenahealth “leaf” logo, and by the company’s landscape-centered ethos. In the evening, and the illuminated screen creates a lantern-like effect that enlivens a formerly imposing façade in an environment where winters bring an early sunset and software developers work long hours.

Plan and Elevation