bluebird bio – Somerville, MA


bluebird bio, a leading gene therapy company with a dedicated focus on severe genetic diseases, moved its headquarters from Kendall Square in Cambridge to Assembly Row along the Mystic River in Somerville. The 61,000 sq ft space embraces hybrid work by enabling a distributed work model designed to increase employee engagement, foster bluebird’s unique culture, and support overall productivity. Red Thread designed and integrated furniture, technology, and demountable walls throughout the two floors to support different modes of work, giving employees (or “birds” as they’re known internally!) choice and control of where they can do their best work.

Each neighborhood has a combination of open and enclosed spaces in addition to Crestron reservation systems for conferencing rooms. Most of the space is free address but dedicated desks are available depending on your team. Workstations range from height-adjustable desks with applied storage to height-adjustable benches and high-top collaboration, supporting a variety of seating postures. There is a mix of open lounge configurations adjacent to work settings for more informal or impromptu meetings. Apart from workstations for heads down or focus work, each floor has a work café designed to encourage large gatherings and socialization. Open settings supported with technology allow employees to easily meet virtually or in-person by sharing content through Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S.

The Multipurpose Room was designed with flexibility in mind, from trainings to large group meetings. The technology-powered War Room embraces hybrid work by allowing remote participants to be seen and heard as if they were in the room. Two flexible training rooms on each floor were designed with a shared demountable wall for future expansion. For all hands meetings, video and audio is distributed to other locations throughout the space so people don’t have to be in the same room. The Boardroom features a Create by Red Thread table, ceiling and table microphones, and Microsoft Teams videoconferencing for an equitable meeting experience.

“Our teams had great synergy in designing a space to meet the evolving needs of bluebird employees,” said Jillian Liposky, Workplace Consultant at Red Thread. “To keep us on schedule, we worked closely together to suggest alternative applications that met the functional and aesthetic requirements and delivery schedule. Implementing an exciting workplace was a top priority.”

Photos © Anton Grassl Photography

Project Partners 

  • Jacobs
  • Timberline Construction


  • Furniture
  • Technology
  • Demountable Walls
  • Create by Red Thread