French 2D Covers Kendall Square Garage in a Thoughtful Design

07.29.19 | By
French 2D Covers Kendall Square Garage in a Thoughtful Design

Boston-based architecture studio French 2D, founded by principals Jenny French and Anda French, was commissioned to create a graphic facade that would enrobe an existing parking garage in Cambridge, Massachusett’s Kendall Square. The French sisters wanted to design a pattern capable of transforming and speaking across scales that was a reflection of both the residential neighborhood and the area’s rapidly growing technology hub.

Co-founder Jenny French explains, “In this project, we are playing with the relationship between the drawing and the building. An exciting moment for us is seeing through the image from within the garage and realizing that you are now inside the drawing.”

The resulting pattern is a play on architectural detail and shadow effects meant to swirl, drift, and articulate into characters along the garage’s side, blurring and expanding the boundaries of two-dimensional and three-dimensional perception. The design itself was derived from a cartoon sketch and the end result references the relationship between drawing and building.

The final large-scale graphic scrim measures 26,000 square feet and uses a tension frame and mesh fabric facade system by Facid North America, that was engineered and installed by Design Communications, Ltd.

Photos by John Horner.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.