Design Research Headquarters
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Architect Benjamin Thompson
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Location Cambridge, Massachusetts   map
Date 1969   timeline
Building Type retail
 Construction System site-cast concrete with glass
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes Frameless glass walls make interior the ornament. Very transparent walls.


Photo, exterior overview, showing northeast corner of building

Photo, exterior close-up of minimalist glazing detail at building corner

Photo, distant overview, showing general context, looking southwest


Detail Drawing

Plan Drawing


Site Plan Drawing

Perspective Drawing

Discussion Design Research Headquarters Commentary

"A retail store with a difference: a glittering, many-faceted showcase for home furnishings and clothes, with added space upstairs for offices. Its glass walls float on concrete slabs that jut out at odd angles, cantilevered boldly form supporting concrete columns. Inside are many blunt yet stylish touches: clean-lined open staircases with black pipe railings; floors of brick, concrete, or wood."

— from Sylvia Hart Wright. Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern. p140.



On Brattle Street at the intersection with Story, by Brattle Square, just west of Harvard Square.

American Institute of Architects 25 Year Award, 2003

Sources on Design Research Headquarters

"25-Year Award to Design Research Headquarters", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 135, 2003.0219, pN1.

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. exterior photo, p57. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography. Available at

Walter F. Wagner Jr., ed. "Bright Glass Prism on Brattle Street", Architectural Record. May 1970. Vol 147 Number 5. p105. drawing of first floor plan, p110. drawing of third floor plan, p110. drawing of site plan, p107. drawing of perspective, p108. drawing of column detail, p108. middle [MW]

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Design Research Headquarters


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