Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education

Boston, MA

Client

MCLE

Program

Interior and technological upgrades to the MCLE lobby, 300-seat auditorium, four 40-seat classrooms, break-out lounge space, and mezzanine space – totaling 30,000 SF as well as renovations of MCLE’s offices.

Challenge

MCLE looked to PCA to upgrade their space to fit the current needs and demands of their members. Originally designed as a private residence and later converted to a bank, this historic building required a skilled touch to modernize its rigid infrastructure, which included multiple immovable bank vaults. An underutilized bookstore had become irrelevant in today’s digital age, and classroom layouts lacked the flexibility required for multiple uses. The renovation would need to retain existing historic detail and finishes, provide wide-ranging flexibility, and aesthetically and functionally integrate state of the art technology.

Solution

PCA repurposed the bookstore into an adaptable, interactive lobby where MCLE members can socialize and study. A complete AV/IT upgrade keeps up with demand for online and webcast materials. Fourteen television and computer screens, all controlled at one source point in the building, were seamlessly incorporated into the existing historic finishes of the space. The screens accept broadcasts from the classroom spaces allowing the new lobby function as an overflow space for presentations, or a rental space for educational organizations.

Mobile, custom-millwork tables with embedded iPads allow members to purchase the online pass and view materials during class breaks, turning the lobby into a digital library. Furniture can be arranged to create zones for break-out work groups, quiet study or private phone calls. The finishes of the new reception desk harmonize with the existing marble and wood of the lobby while bronze glass trim cleverly integrates a 4-screen jumbotron into the wooden bookcases.

Gilded coffered ceilings and pendant lights were added to diminish the lobby’s two-story ceiling height. Interior finishes and lighting in the main space as well as MCLE’s renovated offices add freshness and light, complementing the existing historic millwork that has become integral to the feel of the space.