Landmark Walls

As a result of outgrowing their offices in Waltham, JH Drum’s customer has decided to move into a new 60k square foot space in Cambridge.  JH Drum approached Radlab to create two feature walls as part of their office fit-out.  The book and oar walls are whimsical studies of the field condition and the wave condition respectively, connecting to the end user’s interest in design for delight. The ‘reclaimed’ books aggregate to form an objectscape of physical voxels, each with their own dimensional, color, and texture qualities. The composition of the field relies on a straightforward expression of the part to whole organizational structure, wherein the (1) wall is subdivided into (14) panels, panels into (approximately 2,275) books, and books into bindings and (more than half a million) pages. Gradient is used, along a diagonal trajectory, to further structure the field in a manner that breaks the boundaries of the panels. The books have their greatest depth, width, and thickness at the bottom left corner of the wall, and gradually taper in size to the shortest, narrowest, and thinnest at the opposing, upper right corner of the wall.  Using the functionality of the oar as a driver for the composition of the wall, not only do the oars undulate in elevation, they also gently rotate in plan. The combined, implied motion serves to cultivate the idea of making waves, an important theme for the end user. The differentiation of color registers the wave pattern as a clear, graphic projection, and yet the idiosyncrasies of each hand made oars contributes to the overall sense of playfulness.

Status: Completed, 2013
Client: JH Drum
Location: Cambridge, MA

Project Team
Matt Trimble
Steve Listwon
Ethan Zisson
Haik Tokatlyan
Ellen Ellerbee
Karen Jann

Design Collaborators
Natalie Engels, Gensler
Joanne Rarangol, Gensler

Van Fancy Oars & Paddles
Caviness Oars
Zubal Books