495 business center 

WDA collaborated with Conner Design Architects to develop a new entrance sequence for Building 300 at the 495 Business Center in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The site of the former Wang Computer Laboratories Headquarters was completely renovated to provide 173,000 SF of first class, modern office/R&D space. The site was completely reconfigured to provide improved pedestrian and vehicular circulation and access, increased parking, and a compelling pedestrian entrance sequence. The new entrance was developed to create a unique place-marker within the Business Center through the use of lighting, plantings and high quality hardscape materials.

The design of the entrance landscape became an exercise in contrast- form, color, texture, and finish. All of the landscape elements were compositionally balanced to create an environment that alternately blended with and stood out from the new building skin and form. The rough, muted texture of the wedge-shaped, custom designed cor-ten steel planters was contrasted by the smooth, shiny texture of black polished river rock and the fine, delicate texture of Phyllostachys bissetti (David Bissett bamboo). The pavement was designed as a series of alternate-colored wedges that contrasted with the smooth, elegant orthogonal geometry and simple white and glass finish of the new building façade. The wedge shapes of the pavement were continued into a retained planting area, where alternate fields of Ajuga reptans ‘Mahogany’ (Mahogany Bugleweed) and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) create additional color and textural contrast.

At the center of the plaza, adjacent to the entrance canopy, a narrow, singular row of Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ (Emerald Green American Arborvitae) aligns parallel with ipe benches to mark the main entrance- their composition acting as a sculptural element in the landscape.

The entrance plaza landscape and interior lobby treatments were developed simultaneously to create a seamless exterior/interior transition. The design of the interior lobby serves as a continuation of the cor-ten planters and bamboo, as well as the wedged ground surface treatment. The wedge design is also reflected in the lobby ceiling treatment. The seamlessness is amplified by enclosing the lobby foyer in transparent glass.

(Photography courtesy of Conner Design)





Location: Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Client: 495 Business Center
Completion Date: 2010


WDA Design Group
   Michael Dowhan - Principal in Charge
   Michael Scott
   Erik Vangsness
   Stephen Converse
   Joseph Zambuto
Conner Design - Architect
H&H Builders - General Contractor


Landscape Architecture
Civil Engineering