Like most local companies, Vision 3 Architects felt the sting of the recession. Layoffs, however, have been followed by renewed growth and cautious optimism for the coming year at the Providence-based architectural and interior-design firm.
Last December the company earned a first-place award in an Armstrong World Industries professional-design competition for its work on the new corporate offices of NaviNet, a real-time health care communications network in Boston’s Historic Leather District. The design successfully merged the historic elements of the building with modern features and allowed for lines of sight to the outdoors from all areas of the open office space, according to Henry W. Cugno, vice president for interior design.
PBN: Tell us about the award and its significance.
CUGNO: Armstrong is a manufacturer of building products, specifically for flooring and ceilings. The competition was for companies that used their products. There were two categories, flooring systems and ceiling systems. Each category recognized projects that had been completed, and projects that were designed but not built, so it’s called “Ideas2Reality” or i2r. There were a total of four awards.
When we did our work at NaviNet we didn’t know about the competition. We don’t design a project in order to win an award. If it happens, that’s fine. We won the “reality” award for use of their ceiling and wall systems.
PBN: What can you tell us about the NaviNet project?
CUGNO: It was 65,000 square feet of space in which 43,000 square feet on the second floor were brand-new build-out. We had to take the historical nature of the building into account while still having a relationship with the square footage, which was being occupied as is, so it didn’t look like two different companies moved in.
PBN: Do your projects usually entail historical aspects?
CUGNO: On an interior-design basis, yes. We are both an architectural and interior design firm, so our architectural projects can be brand new. Our interior projects are renovations, like the one that won us this award. Renovation work would encompass adaptive reuse similar to the NaviNet project. It was an historical building and there were some guidelines to follow.