SSP spent a majority of the 2010s in a highway office complex; and when our staff grew midway through our lease, we wound up having to annex additional space that was non-contiguous to our main office. SSP therefore took an opportunity to relocate back to downtown Somerville, and began planning a move in late 2019. Our goal was to work with the landlord to create a space that echoed our values and provided for a healthy, sustainable, and flexible office for our staff, which could be used as a showcase of our work.
Our new workspace was designed to be flexible, with multiple large and small meeting and breakout areas throughout the 6,500 square feet; some private, some semi-private, and some public. The main office area was opened, providing for efficient workstations that were equipped with sit-to-stand desks, allowing all employees the opportunity to stand or sit throughout the workday. Private offices were arranged to be in close proximity to the main work area, and expansive areas of glass opened up the visibility and connectivity among all technical staff.
As our design phase overlapped directly with the initial state COVID shutdown in the spring of 2020, we adjusted our plans to incorporate social distancing best practices, such that the workstations could be fully occupied while maintaining 6’ of distance between employees when seated at their desks. However, the arrangement of the workstations continued to allow for easy collaboration and cross-team conversation, despite the distance among desks.
With a need to transcend a typical, white-walled neutral office, natural materials were introduced, including a core wall featuring brick, and the wrapping of a suite of offices and a portion of a conference room with reclaimed wood. HVAC systems were adjusted to provide improved indoor air quality, and the lighting systems were configured to take advantage of the significant natural daylight available on the fifth floor.
The SSP team is happy to be back in downtown Somerville, overlooking the pedestrian mall at Division Street, all together in one contiguous suite.