Page 210

bsa space boston, ma

Firm / Höweler + Yoon Architecture Principal Architects / J. Meejin Yoon and Eric Höweler project type / society headquarters PHOTOGRApher / Andy ryan

Being an architect and having 4,000 architects as your clients sounds like a nightmare scenario. But the architects at firm Höweler + Yoon begs to differ. In 2011, Yoon and Höweler were tapped to renovate the Boston Society of Architect’s home offices, and the group’s thousands of members served as the project’s collective client. “We are often asked, ‘Isn’t it difficult to have 4,000 architects as your clients?’ Yes and no,” Yoon says. On one hand, many opinions can give rise to unsolicited advice, but on the other, Yoon and Höweler found that playing to the majority is a major advantage. “When a detail is being debated, and the client says, ‘That’s not worth it. Who’s going to notice that?,’ we can say, “4,000 architects will notice that. We need to do it right.” And at the new BSA Space, they did just that. The new building measures in at 16,000 square feet, and the program offers up 5,000-square feet of public gallery space, giving the BSA the opportunity to become a much more public institution. “It puts the BSA in the position of ‘host’ for hundreds of events that are held in the galleries year round,” Yoon says. “Everyone is pretty happy with the publicness and new means by which to carry out their mission: to engage larger publics with the issues of design.”

210

DESIGN BUREAU

“When a detail is being debated, and the client says, ‘That’s not worth it. Who’s going to notice that?,’ we can say, ‘4,000 architects will notice that. We need to do it right.’”—Meejin Yoon PUBLIC PLACES

Architecture: Volume 1  

A Special Edition From Design Bureau 2012