SGI - New England Buddhist Center

Lead DesignerTheodore Touloukian
Project LinkView
Prize(s)2nd Place in Architecture Categories / Renovation
Entry Description

Previously an office building and then an art institute, the project has been adapted, again, as a new culture center for the religious institution of Soka Gakkai International. Previously coined the “Darth Vader building” for its dark and brooding appearance, the client sought a building transformation that would be light, inviting and reflective of their mission statement.

Our response was to paint the existing masonry an off white color that appears to virtually change relative to the time of day. Located along a fast street, the architecture also responds to this movement by implementing a vertical louver wood wall that undulates as one passes by.

The façade carries through to a re-invented public entry and atrium space with skylights that craft natural light deep into the multi-function rooms and lead a procession to the main worship space at the second floor.


Touloukian Touloukian Inc. is an award-winning architecture and urban design firm specializing in complex and diverse building types. Our work includes commercial, residential, cultural, institutional and historic projects ranging from new construction to adaptive re-use. We provide comprehensive design services from feasibility and permitting through construction administration to a range of clients including municipal and private entities, non-profit institutions, developers and individuals.

Awards and Prize

We are an office that promotes a reciprocal model of design practice with design education. Design excellence is at the core of our work. This commitment has been recognized with over fifty international, national and local design awards across thirteen different projects. Most recently, we were listed in Architect Magazine’s Architect 50 - top fifty firms in the country for both 2016 and 2017; and we were shortlisted for the 2017 Practice of the Year by World Architecture News (WAN).