Soka Gakkai International (SGI) New England Buddhist Center, Brookline, Mass.

Photo: Anton Grassl Photography

Touloukian Touloukian Inc. created a design that transformed an office building and art institute into SGI New England Buddhist Center. Architectural features and building materials make the cultural center appear light and airy.   

Touloukian Touloukian enlarged the building’s glazed openings and specified clear glazing. Additionally, a two-story lobby off the entryway was enlarged. The lobby provides visibility to the street. Skylights in the lobby were renovated. They direct daylight deep into multipurpose rooms and lead to the main worship space at the second floor.

To retrofit the existing façade, Touloukian Touloukian designed a vertical, undulating metal louver screen, which provides a dynamic response to vehicular movement along the street. They also mimic finished carpentry at the ground floor.

To build the louver screen, Century Glass Co. fabricated and installed 465 square feet of Arconic Architectural Products USA Inc.’s Reynobond metal composite material (MCM) louvers in Pale Oak with a DuraGloss 5000 finish. In addition to the louvers, MCM was used for guardrails, window recesses and wall panels. In all, Century Glass installed 785 square feet of Reynobond MCM.   

In addition to the MCM wall panels, Century Glass installed 1,150 square feet of 3A Composites USA Inc.’s Alucobond metal wall panels with PPG Industries Inc.’s Alabaster Cool PVDF-2 finish. To further lighten the exterior, the building’s dark masonry was painted in Off White.

The project featured a custom parapet cap. Century Glass fabricated and installed 1,200 square feet of Firestone Building Products Co. Inc.’s sheet metal parapet cap with PPG Industries’ Duranar 70 percent PVDF, Ultra-Cool, low-gloss coating in Bone White.

Another feature was a landscape wall. Diamond Iron Works Inc. installed 450 square feet of its ASTM A588 preweathered Corten steel for a wall that defines a plaza edge on a street side.

The 15,142-square-foot SGI New England Buddhist Center houses a main prayer room, bookstore, security office, classrooms, employee facilities and multipurpose rooms. It was completed in June 2017.