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Bocoup builds a new hangout for techies near North Station

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 20, 2014 10:00 AM

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Bocoup is building a big new hub for software developers just a few steps from the Boston Garden, and founder Boaz Sender invited me over earlier this month to have a look at the progress. Bocoup is a consulting firm that focuses on open web technologies like HTML5, CSS, and jQuery, working with clients that have included LinkedIn, Disney, and Wal-Mart. But Bocoup also runs a training program, holds events for the tech community, and rents out desks to "technologists and hackers" for $400 a month, in an area called the Bocoup Loft.

The new Bocoup, on two floors of 239 Causeway Street, will be almost 15,000 square feet bigger than the old Bocoup, which was in Fort Point Channel. (It'll total about 19,000 square feet.) Sender says there will be three classrooms, an event space with seating for 200, and five studios for artists-in-residence who have an interest in technology. The Bocoup Loft coworking area will house about 40 desks. It's all slated to open in March.

The space has windows overlooking the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Zakim Bridge. Sender says it'll include a library done up in full mid-century modern style, with an Eames lounge chair, Sputnik chandelier, and shag carpet, as well as a "cave" with upholstered bench seating for casual meetings — or naps. There will be shed-like meeting rooms with their own roofs, and Bocoup is keeping some of the old metal fire doors that were unearthed during the renovation (see below.) Sender says the space was once a plumbing supply factory, and also housed state offices. Boston-based Utile, Inc. is the architecture firm working on the new Bocoup.

One of Sender's big objectives, he says, is "making Boston a destination for engineers." (In the picture at right, Sender is standing on Medford Street, in front of what will become a new street-level entrance for Bocoup's space.) And the combination of Bocoup and the new TripAdvisor offices right across Causeway Street are going to do good things for this part of Boston — most call it the Bulfinch Triangle — which is already home to a handful of startups like RunKeeper, Embedly, and Fundraise.com.

Photos and renderings below...

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View from the roof, where Sender hopes to set up a roof garden. The green-topped building on the right is home to TripAdvisor's Boston office.

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One of the space's old metal fire doors, bearing rules that remain important in the 21st century.

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Rendering of the first floor entry on Medford Street, event space, and staircase to the second floor. Courtesy of Utile Inc.

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First floor space.

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On the second floor. In the center is the framing for one of those "shed-like" conference rooms.

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Bocoup's employees are shacked up in temporary space on the fourth floor, along with their mascot, a rooster.

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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