Tufts University-Fares Center, Medford, MA

The Center was donated to Tufts University by the Fares Family to promote the culture and art of the Middle East. It is a small space with a high profile, hosting seminars and conferences, and inviting important artistic, cultural and political figures to lecture at the Center. As such, image was a very important component of the overall design.

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Our approach was to reinterpret the design elements of the Middle East in a contemporary manner, using clear geometry and high quality materials that hold their own identities while creating a unified whole. A main theme in middle eastern design is the integration of built elements and ornament as part of the architecture of the space. A series of built-in casework elements were provided to act as space dividers, storage, workspace and display space. Clear aluminum frames with glass inserts were used as partition walls, maintaining the highest level of natural light possible in the space.

All finishes were selected for durability, quality and elegance, and colors were kept neutral and natural, evoking the character of the Eastern Mediterranean. Artwork was selected specially for the space from an artist working in Boston, renowned for her work reinterpreting the traditions of the Middle East.

The space is successful in acting as office space, art display space, and meeting/seminar space, which were the original requirements for this compact suite within the Fletcher School.

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