Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.
Describe this project in one word.
How does this project demonstrate design impact?
To express the workflow process, circulation was magnified and brought to the forefront of the design. Physical injunctions to the space were kept low or transparent to encourage interaction and visual connection between staff that largely works and communicates digitally. Maintaining small-scale individual workspace urges teams to meet elsewhere throughout the space, in either the formal conference room or informal teaming areas. These teaming areas are delineated by solid partitions that provide opportunity for writable surfaces. All other partitions are glass to open up the internal zone and express the linearity of the space.
Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.
The flooring has a focusing impact within the space, both emphasizing the linearity of the office circulation while likewise softening the overall impact of its narrowness. The carpet follows the natural light path of the space – from a light, neutral palette within the perimeter offices, transitioning to a medium gray before then gradating to a dark gray along the interior, where the spaces are larger and can successfully support saturated hues. A dramatic blue stripe then punctuates the carpet palette to accentuate and define circulation by providing a marked visual differentiator. Strong accent color is used throughout the space to define zones as well as to bracket the space. This evokes TeleGeography’s beautiful work product, informational mapping, where color is used to accentuate and to inform rather than to decorate.
Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.
This project had a limited budget in a standard commercial office building in Washington DC with limited ceiling heights. This project was greatly informed by the foremost intention to reduce their footprint with respect to both real estate and construction material footprint. With their new space TeleGeography was able to maintain the same square footage as their original suite while increasing the staff count by over 30% and incorporate amenities such as a wellness room and teaming spaces.
On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?
The space is on trend with the client’s largely digital practice that allows for a reduction of workspace not needed to house or display paper files or offices to support hierarchy. Strategic
planning of the space included moving all staff to an equalized workspace; their workspace was divisible not by hierarchy but rather by the function of the work produced within that space. Enclosed glass front offices, placed on the perimeter where light filters through the offices to the interior provide audible privacy; workstations are designed to provide visual privacy via custom- built screens, but benefit from the filtered light.