2005 Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Design Excellence
Middlesex Lounge is a bar in Cambridge, MA that transforms into a popular, high-energy dance club on weekends. The open, high-ceilinged space is lined in engineered wood, raw steel, and industrial packing felt to create a tactile, acoustically-specific environment. Custom-built modular benches and tables set on rolling casters allow for infinite rearrangement, creating a new spatial experience every night. Much of the seating is backless and scaled low and deep, creating proximities that can provoke unexpected encounters between strangers.
The space’s massive, wood-framed storefront facing Massachusetts Avenue acts as a large-scale picture window during the day and is transformed at night by a lowered scrim that ghosts out all interior activity. The scrim inverts the typical fishbowl relationship of storefront to street and blurs the existing urban boundary between interior and exterior, providing a very different street presence in the evening. At night, the scrim diffuses and projects a filtered, seductive image of the activity within.
EmployerMerge Architects (2005)
Project TeamPrincipal-In-Charge: Elizabeth Whittaker
Project Architect: Stephen Zecher
Project Manager: Paul Voulgaris
Design Team: Paul Voulgaris, Andrew Richardson, Andrew Wenrick, Silvia Illia
ClientTigers and Bears Restaurant Group
CollaboratorsStructural Engineer: Evan Hankin, PE
General Contractor: Danny Di Silva, Roberto Miranda
Photographer: Chuck Choi