October 22, 2021
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Gloucester, MA When R+D firm Hefring Engineering sought to leave its temporary office space in Boston and establish a headquarters that fit its ocean-centric mission, a newly-built spec office building in the city fit the bill.

“We needed direct access not just to water but deep water,” said Freda Zifteh, global marketing director, Nortek AS and Hefring Engineering. “Our search included spaces as close as Rhode Island and as far away as the Gulf Coast, France, and San Diego, but Gloucester was a natural fit. Everyone was super warm and welcoming.”

Their perfect location – 417 Main St. – a newly-built research building on the water had a first floor vacancy that opened directly to the water – an ideal fit for Hefring’s product development requirements.

Zifteh, who was introduced to Massachusetts-based Ebbrell Architecture + Design, a certified Woman-owned Business Enterprise, by the brokerage team at Nordlund Associates said, “The Ebbrell team was so easy to work with. They were always on it and super responsive. Their focus was on the creative process and in the end that led to a bright, open, and collaborative environment. Everyone feels so good working here.”

Led by Ariane Purdy, RA, LEED, AP, senior architect with Ebbrell, the design highlighted the company’s top priorities. “The client’s business model requires a variety of workspaces,” Purdy said. “Therefore we incorporated glass partitions and flooring finish boundaries to create the mix of open-concept office, conference, and research space they needed.” Purdy’s team also strategically located eye-catching wall murals to help identify different spatial zones and to create visual interest upon entering the space.

Purdy noted finishing touches included specialized static-dissipative flooring and modern light fixtures, with a custom design for a branded entry fixture to create a “wow” factor for visitors. “I worked with the manufacturers to get the right design at the right price for the client. This was an extra for them, so we worked really hard to make it happen and to make it special,” she said. Zifteh noted the custom fixture “was worth it.”

Miika Ebbrell, principal of Ebbrell Architecture + Design said, “Our team was really excited to help Hefring bring its new space to life. The fact that it was an empty building shell gave our team a chance to really exercise its creative prowess and deliver a functional, yet beautiful space.” Ebbrell added that an important goal was ensuring that the main focal point of the high-bay research space was to allow the company’s flagship product – an ocean research glider – to be on display in a way that directly connects it to the harbor views outside their front door.

Zifteh called out the work of Rachel Molé, LEED AP, interior designer at Ebbrell, and appreciated her understanding of the value for the client to see and feel materials and her choices for the murals. Zifteh said, “Rachel came through with wall coverings that are so beautiful that our workspace makes you feel like you’re in a place you’d visit with a friend.”

Visit the Hefring Engineering project page for more information.

Originally published in High Profile October 14, 2021, Boston Real Estate Times October 14, 2021 and New England Real Estate Journal October 22, 2021