BROWN UNIVERSITY - NCE

“Don’t pour the concrete for the walkways until the grass is worn”; Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship (NCE) Director Danny Warshay and Associate Director, Jonas Clark offered this aphorism as a guiding principle for the design. They wanted a space that could be a part of the experimental/exploratory process in developing entrepreneurship at  the new Brown University NCE.  The three floors of venture spaces, offices, and conference rooms  had to be adjustable and adaptable to unknown future needs. Working from a newly leased building’s core and shell structure, we developed a uniform gridded field populated with steel and glass panels (the glass providing much needed writable surface), many of which pivot, and when combined in pairs, the panels can pivot to form rooms. Some panels are further transformed as needed to respond to specific fixed uses. The final design, though based on a “strict” grid, is highly adjustable or where required, fixed and specific resulting in a provocatively flexible, yet precise and heterogenous landscape.