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The challenge in this project was to create an open plan, plus several private offices, while meeting the very different acoustical and lighting requirements of the different departments and spaces. Additionally, since the facility was occupied throughout the project, the 16,000 square feet were renovated in two phases. During Phase One, staff relocated to lobby spaces, kitchen/break room spaces and off site.
The existing space consisted of multiple enclosed departments around an outdated raised platform whose need had long ago disappeared. Multiple skylights and a ribbon of glass running the length of the east wall were sorely underutilized as natural light was bottled within the space where it originated.
The office design solution was to locate the private offices at the corners of the plan with kitchen and conference space at the front, minimizing disruption as visitors travel through the office. Spaces that required enclosure for privacy were banked next to windows or placed along the solid west wall under existing skylights.
To enhance flexibility and encourage small breakout meetings, movable partitions were installed in the main conference room allowing it to open to a lounge-style seating arrangement. Another open space is around the corner from the lounge with a large flat panel screen for presentations and room for seated or standing groups.
Departments are separated by acoustical ceiling clouds, flooring patterns, low storage shelving, countertop work surfaces and translucent panels all to create an open and well-lit work environment. A pink noise system was installed to alleviate noise bleed concerns in this densely populated space.
To empower brainstorming and planning teams, walls were strategically selected throughout the office to receive a writable paint finish.
In order to comply with the local energy code and still allow for specialty broadcast lighting and equipment demands, LED fixtures with dimming capabilities were installed throughout a majority of the space. Water conserving plumbing fixtures were also installed in both new and remodeled locations.
The lobby, reception and break room were remodeled after the move-in of the employees into the Phase One space.
The existing set-up had required visitors to enter the building and take a central, opaque staircase to a second floor reception and waiting area. Relocating the reception and waiting areas to the first floor streamlined the look and the function.
By stripping the stairs to the structure, a space was created on the first floor for a new reception desk and waiting area adjacent to the main entrance. This move created an open and inviting lobby with views of the street.
Moving these spaces downstairs created a great deal of new functional space on a site that would not permit an addition. It allowed for a massive reconfiguration of the old second floor spaces, including the expansion of the break room to accommodate the larger employee population that Phase One provided.
The result of this office design is a welcoming experience for visitors and an inspiring experience for employees.