south side of the building with tall fescue
and native gray birch trees, a softening contrast to the building’s vigorous industrial
aesthetic. Open steelwork towers at the
corners of the two street fronts carry digital billboards that display art, announcements, and advertisements.
The main pathway between the building’s halves is a wide hallway that accesses
the auditorium (which can seat 250 people, with roll-down garage doors that can
divide it into smaller spaces) and various
flexible meeting pods. The corridor also
serves as a gallery and houses the Brew
Cafe coffee shop. An ever-changing color
chase of neon lights by Philips Color Kinetics, headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, animates the ceiling. The walls
are treated with IdeaPaint, a Massachu-setts-made product that transforms surfaces into whiteboards, so they can be a
classroom tool or an invitation to creative
doodling or guilt-free graffiti.
hacin has created a series of lively facades,
brilliantly juxtaposing shapes, openings, and
blank walls to form a building that offers a great
deal of interest without any gimmicks. The
employment of corrugated metal, which is
usually a humble material, is downright chic.
While today so many restaurant designers think
that to have a space be lively it has to be loud,
Gather’s creators make it alive (facing page)
through innovative design.