The redesigned 101 Carnegie Center includes a new lower-level café that has a chic wood-accent motif, a seating area with art depicting iconic Princeton locales and a Starbucks-affiliated coffee kiosk with extended operating hours. — All photos courtesy: Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design
By Joshua Burd
An architecture firm has unveiled its newly completed redesign of a building in the Carnegie Center office campus, following two years of renovations at the 120,000-square-foot property.
The firm, Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design, worked on behalf of Boston Properties at 101 Carnegie Center in West Windsor, targeting the building’s shared amenity spaces and overall aesthetic. That meant upgrades to the lobby, café, fitness center and other public areas that were aimed at offering an economical alternative to locating in an urban center, with an eye toward helping tenants improve recruitment and retention among millennials.
“We’ve been very excited about repositioning 101 Carnegie Center,” said Joshua Zinder, JZA+D’s founding principal. “It’s an opportunity to showcase our approach to effective transformations of underperforming office properties. The redesign delivers a work setting that offers urban conveniences in a suburban location.”
Built in 1981 and located within the Princeton submarket, 101 Carnegie Center is one of several properties in the campus to be upgraded by Boston Properties. JZA+D said about 20,000 square feet of 101 Carnegie’s shared spaces now enjoy lighter, brighter interiors, with visual connections throughout the lobby atrium established across multiple floors and into the lower-level cafe.
This design called for creating a social and professional environment that encourages interaction and mimics a pocket of an urban environment, the firm said in a news release. The new-look building is also meant to support tenants with employees who prefer to work off-hours or who may need to work long hours.
As an example, JZA+D pointed to a new lower-level café that has a chic wood-accent motif, a seating area with art depicting iconic Princeton locales and a Starbucks-affiliated coffee kiosk with extended operating hours. Other new design elements are meant to support a healthier lifestyle, including health-conscious menu options and an updated fitness center with full lockers and showers available to all building and campus occupants.
“Millennials and post-millennials will soon dominate the workforce, and Boston Properties is mindful of tenants’ need to appeal to those demographics to stay competitive,” Zinder said. “Since younger people approach their work lives differently than previous generations, they also tend to favor the experience of living in an urban setting.”
JZA+D’s design for the fitness facility features frosted glass walls with etched images of runners, cyclists, and crew teams, reflecting a strategy that energizes the limited space while providing necessary privacy, the firm’s description said. Inside, the fitness room features top-of-the-line exercise equipment spaced generously under an exposed ceiling, separated from cycling and yoga studios by more frosted glass.
The design firm also said it leveraged Carnegie Center’s well-maintained landscaping. To renovate and energize the building’s four-story lobby atrium, Zinder’s team emphasized the height of the volume with vertical design elements and linear patterns, as well as light, bright finishes punctuated with cherry wood accents.
JZA+D also touted 101 Carnegie’s location along the Route 1 corporate corridor and about three miles from Princeton University, which remains one of the state’s top suburban submarkets for office space. Zinder said the building’s location provided an attractive opportunity for investing in renovations.
“The repositioning of 101 Carnegie Center obviously doesn’t move it out of its suburban office park location, but does significantly increase its appeal as a work setting, allowing tenants to better compete for prospective employees against companies located ‘downtown,’ ” Zinder said. “Occupants of the refreshed 101 Carnegie Center also enjoys a few amenities that urban workplaces are unlikely to offer.”