In December 2014, Converse officially illuminated the sign atop its new global headquarters on Lovejoy Wharf, celebrating the company’s upcoming 2015 move from Boston to North Andover. The Converse sign was designed by Materials & Methods in collaboration with Jennifer Carpenter Architect. Made up of 10-foot-tall letters that span 80 feet on the roof of the building, it now serves as a new beacon for more than 200,000 daily commuters entering Boston from the Zakim Bridge.
The sign was fabricated by Poyant Signs in New Bedford. Several illuminated prototypes were developed and elevated 165 feet from the ground in an abandoned site in Somerville, to help evaluate illumination, colors, visibility and impact. Scale models and templates were also installed onto the Lovejoy Wharf building to verify sight lines and optimal placement for viewing the sign from the I-93. The final product was installed in December 2013.
The Converse sign is one of the first rooftop signs to be installed in Boston in almost 50 years. Its design, materials and means of fabrication draw inspiration from the architectural history of the building at 160 North Washington Street. The existing nine-story building was constructed in 1907, in the art deco style. The exterior of the Converse sign’s letters reference the patina details on the building’s copper trimmings. The rusted corrugated interior of the letters complements the building’s brick façade.
Working with Nike’s global real estate team and Jennifer Carpenter Architect, Materials & Methods also developed a comprehensive environmental graphics package for the new Converse headquarters. Materials & Methods also collaborated with Coherent Design to design integrated digital signage for the building’s lobby and elevator corridors. The 214,000-square-foot space officially opened in May 2015.