SMMA Wins IIDA New England Design Award for Waters IMMERSE Project

Glass wall separating lab and office space at Waters IMMERSE in Cambridge, MA

Last week SMMA was awarded an IIDA New England Design Award for its work on Waters Corporation’s IMMERSE Innovation and Research Lab in Cambridge, MA.

In a virtual ceremony, SMMA’s designers received the award for Best Science & Research Design in the Small Project category, beating out four other entrants. The panel of six IIDA judges—drawn from some of the top design firms in New England—praised SMMA for its flexible design and inspirational use of materials.

“The designers were able to create a flexible workspace that can foster collaboration amongst some of the best science and technology minds,” said the judges, “keeping a neutral palette that inspires rather than overwhelms the user.”

A long-time SMMA client, Waters Corporation specializes in the manufacturing of chromatography, mass spectrometry, and thermal analysis equipment. Opened in late-2020, the company’s brand-new, 9,000 square foot Innovation and Research Lab offers a cutting-edge lab and office space that fosters collaboration among the company’s best scientific minds.

“This project shows that workplace design doesn’t end at the lab wall,” said Marie Fitzgerald, SMMA’s Director of Interior Design. “It’s a great example of the integrated ethos of our firm—interior designers, lab designers, MEP, and project management teams all working together to create a fantastic space for Waters’ employees to work in, whether they’re a lab researcher or an office worker.”

Fitzgerald was keen to highlight the contributions of several partners during the design and construction process for Waters IMMERSE. These include construction firm Commodore Builders and workplace furniture company Herman Miller/Creative Office Pavilion (COP).

Launched in 2007, the IIDA NE Design Awards celebrates the very best work of interior designers across New England each year. Entrants face stiff competition from some of the region’s best firms, both large and small. Awards categories include Education, Hospitality, Residential, and Science & Research. 

A full case study of SMMA’s design is available via the Waters IMMERSE project page.