HubSpot / Architecture3s

© Greg Premru Photography

Architects: Architecture3s
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts,
MEP/FP Engineer: RDK Engineers
Contractor: Chapman Construction/Design
Project area: 38,000 sq. ft.
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Greg Premru Photography

© Greg Premru Photography

This project for HubSpot is a transformation of a 38,000 square foot mill building space into a corporate headquarters.

HubSpot is an inbound marketing company that provides a marketing software and advice to businesses allowing them to be found on the internet and grow their business. In this case, Hubspot has been moving from their their bare bones start-up space, to their new office space located in a 38,000 square foot series of interconnected mill buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

plan A

HubSpot had three defining issues that were important to them in the development of their new space. First, they did not want to loose their entrepreneurial start-up aesthetic. They felt that would be a turn off for those working in-house and it was important to them to still be seen as a company on the rise because of their great technology and intelligence rather then an “established” company. Second, they wanted to engage and be respectful of the post and beam mill structure aesthetic, yet simultaneously have a contemporary palette of materials that spoke to their avant garde place in the technology industry. Finally, as is the case with most young entrepreneurial clients in the earlier stages of their development, their budget was very limited.

© Greg Premru Photography

Many inexpensive materials come together in a unique composition that respects the budget, yet yields a spatially rich environment that is not reliant on expensive materials and finishes for its success. Strategically and judiciously using more expensive materials such as floor to ceiling glazing and offsetting those costs with simple painted drywall, laminate surfaces and inexpensive linear strip fluorescent fixtures backlighting a cellular plastic panel dropped into an ordinary suspended ceiling grid, creates a signature aesthetic. Iconically introducing the clients branding logo and colors into the design tailors the space.

© Greg Premru Photography

The misalignment of the floors from mill building to mill building was seized as an opportunity to design in enhanced thresholds that informed the user that they were moving form one building to another. Realized as simple painted drywall tubes, these thresholds establish a sense of place within the design and work to celebrate the circulation through the spaces.

© Greg Premru Photography

Materials such as translucent curtains and birch stalks are used to soften the space in juxtaposition to the more minimal and machined surfaces. The curtains provide an enhanced acoustic quality at the lobby that also serves as a break out area for the adjacent multi-purpose room and conference rooms. As well, as curtains, they capture light differently then other surfaces, provide a detail that is unexpected and are a simple, inexpensive devices to allow the user to fine tune the space to allow views into conference room spaces or make them more private. Birch stalks are used are used similarly and provide a contrast that is warm, unique and beautiful to walk by or form an edge at impromptu meeting locations off the circulation.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "HubSpot / Architecture3s" 17 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • COLORmatters

    Colors! That’s the magic… otherwise would be just a plain minimalistic modern space. Color matters.

    • a3s

      good thing it is not just a “plain minimalistic modern space” – I hate that!!

      • COLORmatters

        Great stuff a3s! Don’t be upset for some idiots voting you down. It is cool, fresh, bold and modern. Very gifted.

    • Clearance

      Beautiful design! Like the birch trees!

      Aaaaaalbert again?
      “COLORmatters” is your newest name?
      Why promoting yourself here and not at your job center?

  • mies

    Just goes to show you can still do great things with a limited budget. Designer has mad skills.

  • Keith Warden

    In deed, a beautiful interior creative and playful.
    I only wonder about daylight/depth of space, as all images seem to show artificial light.

    about commentator “COLORmatters”:
    why hiding, and phishing for attention for your blog?
    why not say:
    “Hi, I am Albert Bendersky, looking for a job as an architectural assistant (BArch, but also visited some classes for MArch), Toronto and region; currently writing a blog, called archialternative (need more visitors, please visit me!)…”

    • a3s

      Keith – thanks for the comments.

      It was photographed at night, thus the lack of natural light. You can see from the floor plan that the space is 4 interconnected mill buildings that are pretty narrow with central atrium bring natural light into the space. Day has a very different dynamic light quality that suits the user’s need for reduced glare on computer screens.

      • Keith

        a3s, nothing to thank for – it’s a great design! Thanks for the explanation …expanding from Canada to the US, we will keep you in mind…

    • DS

      What the hell you are talking about? What your personal affairs have to do with us “Keith Warden”? Why do you publish here some unrelated stuff? Who’s the person you keep trashing? What did he do to you? Why are you whining on this site, man? Publishing some bizarre personal data! Why would we care, Keith? It’s lame, gee… I’m surprised moderators let you through with this bs…

  • a3s

    Keith – If you are looking for some ideas on contemporary office space, check out our Contemporary Office Design Guide available on our blog…