New Lab

Apr 16, 2018

Macro Sea began work on Building 128—which, after years of neglect, was a deserted shell—in 2012. The team took inspiration from the cathedral-like steel trusswork, and approached it as a 1970’s High-Tech Modernist muse—a kind of structural expressionist beauty. The stylistic period appealed to the design team because of its emphasis on indeterminacy, environmentalism, and a collaborative techno-optimism—it conferred a sense of glamour to engineering, science, and technology. The period also lent an appropriate frame through which to ask: How do we create an inspiring, contemporary workspace for today’s designers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs? Working with Marvel Architects, Macro Sea created a variety of workspaces—offices, private studios, and lofts—with shared amenity spaces like lounges, communal worktables, advanced prototyping shops, and meeting spaces. The architectural team devised suspended bridges from the building’s existing gantry cranes to create connective social and exhibition spaces. The teams took detail cues from the existing building—both restoring and expanding upon the inherited language of the space. “As developers and designers of the space, we were very attracted to this particular community, which is simultaneously at the top of its intellectual and technological game, while looking into the abyss as entrepreneurs,” David Belt, the founder of Macro Sea, and cofounder of New Lab, said. “We wanted to build for them.”