The Roux Institute at Northeastern University

The Roux Institute at Northeastern University

The Roux Institute’s design offers infinite flexibility and adaptability to foster experiential learning and entrepreneurship within an existing 43,800-square-foot floorplate. The programming concept defines neighborhoods where learning occurs without clear boundaries, allowing the space to adapt to the unique needs of business partners, faculty, and students.

To execute the concept, the floor is treated as a field condition with defined objects located within it. Where walls don’t need to exist to define a boundary, complex geometric structures (geometric follies) bend and fold throughout the space. The follies are intentionally aberrant geometries designed to punctuate space. Canted from floor to ceiling, they meet at atypical angles and are clad in nontraditional materials. The intent is to blur the definition of boundary by utilizing forms and objects beyond the typical vocabulary of architecture.

Housed within an existing building situated on the edge of Casco Bay, the Institute enjoys uninterrupted ocean views and access to natural daylight. The transparency and porosity of the follies and arrangement of program elements allow the daylight to permeate deep within the floorplate. Proximity to Casco Bay inspired the natural material and saturated color palette, which contrasts the exposed steel structure, ductwork, and infrastructure.

Client
Northeastern University
Location
Portland, ME
Square Feet
26,000
Completion Date
2021
Awards
AIA Maine: Merit Award: Institutional + Commercial (2023) American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase: Outstanding Design Award (2021) MEREDA: Notable Project Award (2019)
The flexible spaces create opportunities for all users to find a space that suits their needs and comfort levels. There are maker spaces (green), folly spaces (orange), classrooms (blue), private meeting spaces (teal), as well as research and individual workspaces.
Asymmetrical volumes create a sense of space by aligning both planar and sectional design elements within the larger context of the open space.
The floor is treated as a field condition with defined objects located within it. Where walls don’t need to exist to define a boundary, geometric follies are utilized. The follies are intentionally aberrant geometries in the sense of dividing space. Walls are canted from floor to ceiling, meet at acute and obtuse angles, and are clad in nontraditional wall materials. The intent is to blur the definition of boundary by utilizing forms and objects outside of the typical vocabulary of architecture.
The programming concept defines neighborhoods where learning occurs without clear boundaries.
The proximity to Casco Bay inspired a natural and saturated color palette, which contrasts with the exposed steel structure, ductwork, and infrastructure.
A mix of open space and private focus rooms allows the space to adapt to the unique needs of the students, faculty, and business partners.