New AO Research Building Under Construction Article Taken From

American Optical News
Volume 13

August 14, 1952

The building now in process of construction on the East bank of the Lensdale Pond will soon become the new Southbridge home of the AO Research Laboratory.

It will be a single-story, “L-shaped” structure with approximately 25,000 square feet of floor space. Its modern design will utilize monolithic poured concrete, a new color tapestry brick, glass brick and aluminum trim.

One feature of the new design will be the latest ribbon-type window construction running around the entire building with the exception of the piers or columns. the lower portion of this window area will be framed in aluminum sash with clear, movable windows. The balance of the window area utilizes a new prismatic glass block with some interesting optical and illuminating properties.

Light enters the glass block from the outside at a 45 degree angle; is deflected upward into the building at the same angle. Natural daylight, therefore, will be deflected upward, out of the normal line of vision and makes it possible to provide daylight illumination throughout the entire building area.

The entrance to the new Laboratory will face East toward Building 16. It will be modern in decor, using black cararra glass and aluminum trim. Exterior brickwork will feature a new light tan color “tapestry” brick. Interior walls will be finished throughout with a smooth faced brick slightly darker in color.

Ceilings will be of suspended fiberglass acoustical tile which will not only absorb noise but will provide insulation at the ceiling line and on the roof. This new tile is made with a plastic impregnated under surface, loosely attached to the tile itself so that it will muffle and reduce sound vibrations before they are finally absorbed by the fiberglass tile itself.

The roof will be of the flat deck type with fiberglass insulation over metal roof decking. Heating and utility piping will be completely recessed in the inner walls. No piping will be visible.

The low silhouette of the new Laboratory building will blend attractively into the familiar landscape across the pond. In choosing the present building site, it was necessary to remove only three of the large spruces which bordered the pond. These, incidentally, will be placed elsewhere along the shore.

G. P. Brockway is the building Project Manager; K. E. Peterson, AO architect, drew the plans for the new building. Mechanical and utility work will be done under the watchful eye of Guy Wescott and his staff. It is expected that the building will be enclosed and ready for interior finishing somewhere about November 1.

Further building details will be announced in a later story.

Return to R&D page