By Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP, and Alvaro J. Ribeiro, AIA
October 2017 – Renovating and re-purposing a building can involve several factors: preserving existing features, updating building infrastructure, and energizing spaces for their new use. Warehouses offer their own challenges, especially “legacy” buildings that have long become obsolete. An outdated warehouse in a high-profile location in Quincy, Mass. has been transformed into a new 694,000 SF global customer fulfillment center for Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices. Completed in September 2017, this modern, energy-efficient, and state-of-the-art facility expands and modernizes BSC’s logistics and distribution functions and aligns with the company’s Global Facilities Master Plan, an enterprise-wide initiative that brings the company’s real estate and workplace portfolio in line with its global business strategy.
Since 1997, BSC has located its call center and distribution center operations in the north building of the vast warehouse complex on Quincy’s Squantum Point. Situated on the Neponset River and visible from Interstate 93 on approach to Boston, the new customer fulfillment facility consolidates BSC’s operational and distribution functions into the south building on the site. More than half of Boston Scientific’s global product manufacturing, including medical device products such as life-saving stents, will move through the 24-hour customer fulfillment facility, with approximately 400 employees.
Comprising 64,000 SF of office space and a 630,000 SF customer fulfillment center, the building’s office space was designed to meet BSC’s global workplace strategy standards that are being deployed around the world. The customer fulfillment center includes 2.5 miles of high-efficiency, “smart technology” conveyor and the first installation of an enterprise warehouse management system for BSC Global Distribution. BSC selected Margulies Perruzzi Architects (MPA) to design the interior fit-out and building envelope renovations for this sustainably designed building, which is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification for existing buildings. Lee Kennedy Construction is the general contractor for the project.
MPA inherited legacy warehouse conditions that guided the repositioning of the south building and the development of the open office floor plan. Different weight-bearing capacities of the existing floor slab informed the location of major building functions such as the warehouse and its accompanying storage. The large building features a unique, L-shaped footprint, so MPA’s design stretched the office spaces along the building’s edge to distribute natural light to the interior. Different corporate functions occupy each of the L’s wings, maximizing operational efficiency from the unique layout. The existing precast façade was completely replaced with an energy efficient, metal panel rain screen system and new ribbon windows. The corner of the building was removed and updated with a multi-story curtain wall to create a dramatic canopied main entry.
The open office space features a mix of workstations and glass-fronted offices, supported by town squares, breakout cafés, training spaces, and a variety of meeting rooms. To enhance the employee experience in the new building, BSC chose a variety of high-end amenities, including a fitness center, 24/7 grab-and-go food kiosk, and game room. Adjoining the full-service corporate café, the waterfront roof terrace with outdoor casual seating and conference spaces offers stunning views of downtown Boston and provides a compelling amenity for employees.
While MPA’s design transformed an outdated warehouse building into an attractive, energy-efficient, and natural light-filled office and fulfillment facility, this Quincy project significantly advances BSC’s facilities and real estate strategy. As worldwide demand for medical devices grows, the expansion and modernization of BSC’s global logistics center is an important milestone for the company, the City of Quincy, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
About the authors Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP, is a principal and senior partner and Alvaro J. Ribeiro, AIA, is a senior architect at Margulies Perruzzi Architects. For more information, please visit www.mp-architects.com.