Homage is a client that has grown in tandem with our firm. After years of cobbling together efficient but not always glamorous digs – they found themselves with an opportunity to bring their operations together under one roof. The intent was to create a space that felt like home to the company, helped highlight who they are and what they do, and did so in a flexible and cost effective manner.
The space was part of a new tilt-up warehouse/office structure. Our approach centered on taking things out more so than putting anything in. We jettisoned much of the proposed lay-in ceiling, the drywall concealing the concrete walls, most of the carpet and most of the offices. We also suggested changing the proposed layout to place the bulk of the windows (with great views of the airport and the downtown skyline beyond) in the open office area where the team works rather than in the lobby.
Core elements of the Homage retail experience were incorporated into the project – including the use of salvaged basketball flooring as a wall cladding. Glazed overhead garage doors from a previous project of the general contractor were incorporated in the conference rooms and as a way to create an immediate connection between the warehouse and the office.
The warehouse space allows for massive efficiencies when compared to the company’s previous facilities. The adjacency of design and operations to warehouse and distribution functions has benefits that are functional and support their corporate culture.
This project was designed in conjunction with Mode Architects (the architect of record) and Tenfold Brand (branding elements). And it was pretty fun.
It is always gratifying when a client we serve in one specific capacity engages us to serve them in another.
After working with them for years on scoop shops and manufacturing facilities – we were very pleased to have an opportunity to help Jeni’s build out their new offices.
Located in the Arena District the project presented a chance to house the entire Jeni’s team in a single space. The new office had been previously built-out as two suites and as such the exercise became one of thoughtful repurposing where applicable and strategic new construction where necessary - all while knitting together the different spaces and layering in an aesthetic component consistent with the company’s approach. All while being mindful of financial realities.
The final design identifies a core within the space and then creates a zone of shared activity between that and spaces on the periphery. Within the core are functions like conference space, a photo studio and a test kitchen. The shared activities become circulation paths, dining/break areas and informal meeting space. The periphery (largely existing construction) is given over to offices and additional meeting space however in strategic locations that fabric is removed to allow long views to outside and to allow daylight to penetrate deep into the office.
Simple pine cladding is used in juxtaposition to white walls to help clarify the organization and add a contemporary warmth to the space. Chalkboards were created at a series of locations throughout the offices to allow for impromptu artwork and the occasional full color rendering of Stevie Nicks.
Focused on the creation of a corporate home for a new Allsteel furniture dealership - the goal of this project was to capture the energy and personality of the business and its owners. A primary challenge was to encourage people to wander down the 60 feet of inactive building corridor leading to this new business's front door. Central to the design of the space (and the approach to it) are two elements - a 3-foot thick 18-foot long focal wall and a contrasting wood slat element. The thick wall is grounded, solid, clad in cold-rolled steel and birch panels. It divides space - separating the main conference room from the entry area. The slat element captures space. It is ephemeral, transparent, illuminated from behind. It curls up and becomes a ceiling as well as sliding "through" the entry glass and into the hall making it at once the first element of the project visitors come in contact with and also the frame for the focal point at the end of the entry sequence.
Photos by Brad Feinknopf.
Treetree is a unique marketing and communications agency located in Columbus, Ohio. Their specialty? Special Projects. We were pleased to have the opportunity to help them create a new home in the Short North’s iconic Battleship Building.
Our first visit to their old office started in the kitchen. Just like in many people’s homes and virtually every party - as a visitor, this space was key to the experience. This in mind, the new office design created a larger and more flexible kitchen intended to embody their genuine spirit of hospitality. The new kitchen serves as a hub for the guest experience. A place of orientation within the office, it allows access to multiple conference rooms and functions nicely as an informal meeting space. And of course it serves their team’s day to day needs as well. Just off the kitchen - the odd geometry of the building hands us an opportunity for one of the more unusual conference rooms we have ever drawn.
In contrast to the subdivided visitor zone – the other half of the office is an open space flooded with natural light and views to outside framed by the large windows. Conversation and communication flows freely in the office area – while pools and eddies are created for focused work or small group meetings and pin-ups. A tire swing hangs at the far end of the space as a playful invitation to pause for a moment. Phone booths between the guest and work zones of the office allow a place for quiet communication while a character-grade oak floor unifies the entire space and adds warmth befitting the company’s culture.
Miss Scarlet. In the Library. With a Macbook.
Dynamit creates web and mobile applications. They are a hard-working and dynamic company. They also sat across from us once at a meeting and asked, “Could the space be based on the classic board game Clue?”
The answer, when someone asks that for the record is of course, yes.
And so it was. There is much more to this project than a playful premise… a need for meeting spaces, infrastructure for technology, places to make and take phone calls… but there IS a bookcase that opens up to reveal a hidden work room. Maybe.
Dynamit was serious about making a fun space and we enjoyed the charge. They procured a fantastic suite in a building originally built as a tractor sales showroom and warehouse. Concrete columns and brick walls were a fantastic starting point. The work area is open but counterbalanced by ample “quiet space” – some suitable for groups and others for individuals. The project also created a place to highlight their various (and numerous) awards and recognition for work well done.
Phase Two was the creation of a roof deck suitable for a breakout session or just a plain old break. Not half bad for a happy hour either.