Category Archives: Corporate

OTH Architects | Zuid Holland County House – A 2016 Design Is…Award Market Winner


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.

Meandering.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

The boldly curved architectural design of the 5-storey building for the provincial government of South Holland inspired to implement a meandering interior design as well. The client’s objectives were to connect the different building parts and create a merged activity based working concept. Functions are scattered across the floors in a carefully zoned activity based working concept, facilitating all types of work. The different activities are strung together by a meandering pattern in the flooring, loosely following the long corridor through the building. At strategic places it creates room for meeting, team spaces, facility corners, etc. Because the carpet is also in the elevator cores, building parts that used to be separated from each other,are now connected. All together the floor pattern forms a long and winding, but very varied road, leading along different worlds in the organization.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

The journey we travelled with our client, the provincial government of South Holland, is still going on. At this moment we are working on the complete redesign of the monumental part of the complex. Off course we jointly aim for a result as successful as the refurbishment of the meandering office building, we are now nominated for. The journey with the client so far has been a pleasant one. To implement an activity based working concept in the long and meandering building has been a challenge for both us, the client and the users. Province employees, who were used to have their own room, were prepared for their future housing by letting them participate in the design process. Each floor for example features a special kind of workplace, like a stand or a scrum room, that is designed according the wishes of the employees on that particular floor. We strongly believe a design can only work if it users are able to lay hold on the spaces that surround them.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

As already told, the long and meandering floorplans challenged us to get the best out of ourselves. In this project we especially learned about the importance of zoning the office floors. We created zoning concept with working areas, extending from dynamic to silent. Also acoustics has been a true challenge. We managed to create a pleasant working environment by using carpet tiles and vertical blinds, made of felt.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Flexibility is a real issue in the design. People should be able to create the space they need for a specific activity. The felt blinds that characterize the interior design are movable, so users can decide for themselves how private or open they want to work. Also sustainability was important, especially in choosing materials. Shaw carpet tiles, as the basis for our design, proved not only to be beautiful, but also very durable.

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Lauckgroup | WiNGS Dallas – 2016 Design Is…Award Market Winner


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.

Empowering.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

The Women’s Center (WiNGS – Women in Need of Generous Support) provides a place for women to find a path to a better life – personally and professionally. Dallas has the 3 rd highest poverty rate overall among major US cities*. Through its programs WiNGS can provide women with the opportunity to develop the financial, business, parenting, and health skills they need to escape poverty. This center is the first time this Dallas organization had a place to call home to support both their clients and employees.
(*data courtesy of WiNGS Dallas)

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

It is always an exciting endeavor to team with clients, but even more so with an organization that has an incredible mission. From the beginning, it was a privilege to vision with the organizational team on what this place would be – a place of hope and safety that they could call home. Lauckgroup offered its strategic programming and design services as a donation to the YWCA (now WiNGS) and was subsequently hired to complete the contract document and contract administration at cost by the organization’s board. It was a unique opportunity to team with consultants and vendors (like Shaw Contract) to find cost-effective design solutions that contributed to a space both empowering and comforting to its inhabitants. In the end, it was powerful to see the community rally around this project and positively impact families in our city.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

The project was is considered adaptive reuse as the building previously functioned as an ambulance call center. It was overhauled from and asbestos-riddled, almost windowless state, to create an inviting, healthy space. The team had to get creative and really hone our process to work effectively and efficiently in tackling all these factors while simultaneously supporting the fundraising effort by incorporating visuals for potential donors and working with vendors to obtain discounted/donated products.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Everyone wants healthy spaces that are multifunctional – places to work in different ways and that can be used for different purposes depending on the need. The space planning for this building resulted in spaces of varied sizes overflowing into each other, which really allows for maximum flexibility. Clients and staff have options in the quality of space they meet and work – intimate vs expansive, lounge vs task, open vs enclosed, etc. It results in an effective space that encourages movement and one that many clients are seeing the value of.

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ZVA | CBRE Mexico City – 2016 Design Is…Award Market Winner


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.

Refreshing.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

You can see design all over this place, it is full of life in its finishes, color scheme, materials, furniture, different areas and the overall look and feel of the office makes you want to stay. The layout and function of the project is based on the Workplace 360 strategy and has basically no assigned places which is transforming and responding to the way we work today. There is one particular artwork master piece by James McNabb that represents Mexico City´s highline in a round wooden handmade amazing piece.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Our main focus for this project was to create the most collaborative, inclusive and transparent space possible. By putting special input on these concepts, we accomplished great results. We know the efficiency in terms of the use of space as grown impressively by 52%; we also know the users are very satisfied and happy to be working in this open, dynamic and versatile environment.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

One of the biggest challenges we had to face was the fact that the users were used to workingin a very traditional and thus different space where openness and versatility weren´t an option and where the daily functioning was completely distinct. So we had to listen closely to what the client wanted and try to implement this new philosophy of working in the most subtle way so even though the change would be big, the final response was positive and people would be able to adapt as soon and as natural as possible, which was the case. The challenge regarding finishes and furniture, had to do with the fact that because of the project´s needs we had to create so many different environments or scenarios and we wanted to give each room its own autonomy but at the same time, maintain unity in the general design. So we used different brands and forms to create these distinctive areas but we always kept in mind what the general look and basis of the project were; the result is a very harmonic space.
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On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Of course, this is a project that reflects the way we work today which is much more relaxed, open, human and free. It gives you the ability to choose the scenario in which you want to be in today depending on the activities or tasks you have to develop and/or the type of personality you have, etc. so it is more human in the sense that it understands the users and the people that live this space on a daily basis. The environment that is created inside this space is a reflection of what our society is asking for and reflects the current work culture in Mexico City. This project has a LEED Commercial Interiors certificate so it also responds to the need to respect and preserve our planet.

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Microsoft Conference Centre named 2015 Design Is…Award People’s Choice Winner

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Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms of winning projects from the 2015 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn more about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Marjorie Marshall from Metaphore Design spoke with us about the design approach for the Microsoft Conference Centre project.

Describe this project in one word.

Stimulation.

The Microsoft Conference Centre keywords required the environment to be a fun and casual place to exchange, learn and inspire innovation.

In what way does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?

Although the Microsoft Conference Centre (serving visitors and employees alike) offers varied options for conventional meetings and training sessions-  the common areas are infused with enticing opportunities for spontaneous collaboration and quiet reflection. Whether the visitor is sipping a cappuccino at the bar, enjoying the view at the window seat, playing a lively game of XBox , or sharing a private exchange in the banquette nook – the process of  shared learning and creativity is reinforced by the stimulating environment.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

Of course every project begins with a thorough exploration of our clients’ company. By understanding the Microsoft management objectives and challenges for this project, we could direct our design solutions to re-enforce their corporate goals.  The Metaphore Design creative process ensures that there is a direct link between the project Design Concept and our clients Corporate Soul. Beginning with client -directed KEYWORDS, we select images relating to the essence of these words. The next layer is architectural images inspired by the keyword images. From there, we develop the Design Concept connecting to the layout and clients functional needs. At every stage, we connected back with the Microsoft project team to ensure we were on the same wavelength. This way, they felt empowered to be part of our process and were very enthusiastic at the presentation of our ideas for the Conference Centre…

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?

This project was an exciting one for our design team. It had to be great! Microsoft believed in Metaphore Design to create a space that would encourage collaboration and innovation.  We were so pumped to meet the challenge. The success of the Microsoft project was truly due to our ability to work together as a united team. By fully utilizing our individual strengths, and collaborating as a united force, we were stronger than the sum of our parts, and we became a better team in the process.

I would say to young designers – don’t be afraid to co-operate FULLY in a team… You won’t lose anything, and everyone will gain.

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Showroom Multicarpet Rollux is a 2015 Design Is…Award Global Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Global winning projects from the 2015 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn more about the winning projects.  These are their stories.

Maite Bartolomé from + Architects addresses the design process for Showroom Multicarpet Rollux in Santiago, Chile.

Describe this project in one word.

Showcase

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How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?

The design is based on  Exhibition Support Elements that characterize the interior space, so the relationship between the visitor and the showcased products becomes fluid and interactive, becoming part of the natural use of the space.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

The Multicarpet Rollux showroom gathers sales and product specification offices, and exhibition spaces for both companies. The commission emphasized from the outset that the work and exhibition spaces were integrated, seeking a close relationship with the client, and transmitting the intention of Rollux and Multicarpet of supporting architects find the right materials and solutions for each project, in a joint work similar to an architecture studio.

With this starting point, the design of the Showroom integrates materials and products from both companies as a natural solution to the main functional and climatic requirements of the building, and not as exhibited elements in isolation. The design focuses on two main elements:

1)   A large wooden shelving system located in the center of the building, associated to the vertical circulation of the Showroom, will serve as a reference library for catalogs that provide insight into the multiple lines of Multicarpet flooring. This shelving system has a second technical function, as it hides HVAC equipment and serves as horizontal and vertical shaft for building facilities.

2)    A metal perimeter rail and facade profiles that support the various lines of Interior and Exterior Rollux Curtains, along all glass facades of the building, allowing to control the optimal natural lighting in workspaces and characterize the exterior facades.

The architecture of the building focuses on the solution of the details of these two elements, simple solutions are sought for a clean project that transmits the quality of the materials displayed.

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What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?

The importance of the flexibility and adaptability of the building.  The building should remain as a neutral background for the exhibited products, so it can evolve through time, allowing changes on use and function, not becoming obsolete.
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