Adorning the Boston Harborside

Designing for the Fortune 500
Boston, Massachusetts

When a multinational investment and financial company faced expansion in the Boston area, it sparked a need to reassess their five existing Boston-based offices: How could the organization consolidate to save money and lessen their environmental impact, while also supporting their immense growth?

The solution resided in a reconfiguration of its current real estate portfolio into two distinct buildings, choosing more notably to have a client-centric space located at Boston’s distinguished 50 Rowes Wharf. The new front office and high-performance workspace required SMMA’s interior design expertise to enhance the company’s standards and accommodate the convergence of its various groups of financial professionals. The materials used throughout exhibit a refined local quality, evoking the atmosphere and impression desired by a global leader in wealth management.

50 Rowes Wharf front-end client center and office space.

Enhancing a Standard

It was vital that SMMA maintained a familiar grandeur across the 64,152 sf office space, while also personalizing areas for the distinct lines of financial business that were to shift under one roof. Due to varying leadership and professions, each floor had personal requests alongside compliance and privacy requirements. Thus, the interior design team constructed spaces providing both customization and fluidity: they utilized the company’s specifications for office sizes, furniture, color palettes, and materials to mold a consistent experience throughout the building. Common corridors transition from warm to cool tones, creating a relationship between the different personalities of the office spaces and the building’s main Client Center located on the 3rd floor.

A Polished Client Center

Perhaps the magnum opus of 50 Rowes Wharf, a new and refined Client Center takes up 5,000 sf of the building’s 3rd floor. Upon stepping off the elevator, clients are immediately received by a lobby space enveloped by large bay windows overlooking the Boston Harbor. Inspired by the company’s original Client Center in New York City, the Boston Client Center has its own beautiful marble powder rooms, decorative drapery, a library with eight-foot-wide pocket doors and decorative built-in bookshelves, a lounge and waiting area, and intimate conference rooms that welcome Boston’s most affluent with a stunning prestige.

Visitors are further greeted by a low-risen reception desk that emits a boutique hotel feel, naturally rich due to its walnut wood undertones. The desk’s back-painted glass has a slight champagne hint, inducing a warm and inviting atmosphere. A slab of calacatta gold marble tops the desk for a more traditional, yet timeless design. The rest of the Center incorporates white and cream-lacquered wood panels, which complement the deep brown marble, dark bronze metal, and stone elements used throughout the building. Here, New England’s finest materials shake hands with Boston’s finest professionals.

  • 50 Rowes Wharf front-end client center and office space.
  • 50 Rowes Wharf front-end client center and office space.
  • 50 Rowes Wharf front-end client center and office space.
Boston's Seaport District Skyline


To complete the aesthetics of a client-facing Boston branch, the company had one last thing to integrate into the building’s interior: the city itself. Through a series of prominent and easily recognizable images, the City of Boston was personified in the company’s uniform graphics package. SMMA’s interior designers worked closely with a fellow firm to customize a standardized set of framed, color-washed, black and white photographs. Therefore, the new location was able to establish a unique identity from its New York roots through large displays of important Boston landmarks and icons.

Continuing the Relationship

The new office introduces a beautiful, refreshing, and modern space to the Boston waterfront that showcases the company’s top-tier status as a wealth management corporation to its most important clients.

“It was a multi-phased and fast-paced project that took a lot of collaboration and coordination,” said SMMA Director of Interior Design Marie Fitzgerald. “With the help of the OPM [Leggat McCall Properties] and the contractor [Commodore Builders], our team was able to pay their best attention to the client throughout the entire process. Everyone’s needs were met as seamlessly as possible, and now we have a gorgeous new office space and a great relationship with [the company] to show for it.”

50 Rowes Wharf front-end client center and office space.