The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building at Dudley Square is nearing completion. As a final touch, a 700ft2 hand-drawn mural will be painted onto the wall of the lobby. The mural will be created by Mecanoo, the Dutch architectural practice who also designed the new municipal office building together with Boston-based Sasaki Associates.
The mural depicts a map covering the area from Readville in the South to Orient Heights in the North, with Dudley Square located in the centre. “Roxbury is at the geographical heart of Boston,” says Francine Houben, creative director of Mecanoo. “When you stand on the roof deck of the new building, you get a real sense of how close the location is to downtown Boston. Moreover, as the building is destined to become the new home for the Boston Public School department, it will be an important place for the entire city. We wanted to illustrate this inside.”
The rich blue background of the silver coloured mural references Ferdinand’s Blue Store, the famous furniture shop whose facade has been restored and incorporated into the new structure. The colour also has special significance to Mecanoo. Dubbed ‘Mecanoo-blue’, it dates back to the time when the company engaged with set designers. The colour, originally a stage paint, appears in many of Mecanoo’s buildings across the world.
Aside from the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, the map highlights a number of landmarks including the Massachusetts State House, the John Hancock Tower, the Institute of Contemporary Art and Boston City Hall.