a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Tuesday 28 May 2013
Raptor is a diversified financial services firm founded in 2009 by James Pallotta, a Boston-based investment manager, sports team owner, art collector, and philanthropist. Elkus Manfredi Architects was selected to design a new 22,000 sq ft headquarters for Raptor on the 12th floor of Atlantic Wharf on Boston Harbour.
Raptor was seeking a workspace that would project the sophistication, market edge, and dynamism of the Raptor brand, while providing a work hard and play hard home for its valued employees. The space needed to integrate Pallotta’s extensive collection of contemporary art, and function not only as a place of business but also as a gallery and inviting setting in which to entertain.
Elkus Manfredi created a spare but elegant design that speaks of Raptor’s global reach while celebrating its local roots. Infused with the raw, unpretentious feel of a New York Soho gallery warehouse, the new offices present sweeping views of Boston Harbor and Financial District skyscrapers, as well as the booming construction sites of Raptor’s fast-growing Seaport neighbourhood. Inside, the many pieces of extraordinary art are the main characters of the space. At every turn another vista opens to an intriguing sculpture, powerful photograph, or striking painting. Opulent textures — felt wall finishes, refined millwork, and bronzed metal doors — contrast with polished concrete floors, reclaimed wood, and exposed gypsum ceilings. The melding of refined and raw elements provides a rich yet restrained backdrop that sets off the drama of the artwork, allowing each piece to hold centre stage in its space.
The reception area, private offices, trading room, main conference room, and two lounges occupy the perimeter of the floor plate for the best views. Multiple high-tech collaboration spaces with writable wall surfaces provide opportunities throughout for spontaneous team strategizing, both in-house and with partners around the globe. Staffed by a professional chef, the employee café prepares three meals a day, while the spa-like fitness centre boasts top-of-the-line workout equipment and elegantly appointed men’s and women’s locker rooms.
The world of Raptor is one of high-stakes intensity — decisions are swift, deals are done, nothing stands still. Elkus Manfredi’s design for the space balances lush materials with hard edges, capturing the essence of daring and excellence that defines the Raptor brand while creating a sense of timeless sophistication that quietly anchors the warp-speed pace of the Raptor business model.