Perspectives November 9, 2020

Our New York Studio is a “Workplace of the Future”

We never expected to build and move during a pandemic, but that’s just what we've accomplished. Here is the design story of our new studio.

The New York studio is excited about our new home at Nomad Tower, in the center of a dynamic neighborhood in the heart of the city. Our resilient design is already a “future workplace”–a laboratory for new ways of collaborating, visualizing and producing responsive and exciting design solutions that make a difference for our clients, the occupants and the community.

A “workplace of the future,” ready for the “right now.”

We envisioned the New York studio as a learning lab–one that can both predict and react to behavioral, cultural, and technological change. As we begin our return to studio, still amid a pandemic, we have the opportunity to test our design concepts in real-time.

Behavioral – Flexible and agile, our forward-thinking design team created a workplace that will adapt to the needs of many individuals, work styles, and situations.

Cultural – Even before “social distancing” became the norm, we explored a studio design that could both preserve human connection and provide places for more isolated and focused work in the absence of a traditional office setting.

Technological –  Our robust IT/AV infrastructure and resources support agile working while in-studio, and seamlessly transition to enable continued productivity when working remotely.

“Coming back to the New York studio represents a rare opportunity to help pave the way forward as we all navigate what a return to work looks like. We’re excited for the invaluable insights we’ll gain in our ‘learning lab’ as we explore innovative ways to grow together in our new normal."

– Bill Harris, Managing Director

From actual, to virtual, to actual

We faced many challenges in NYC, but because we designed our new studio to be an agile workspace that accommodates many different situations, it was flexible enough to meet newly recommended practices and protocols due to COVID-19 with very little tweaking to the original design.

Locating our new studio in a second-floor, double-height space normally intended for retail invites the public to see our design process from street-level Broadway, and also engages our team in the pulse of the city street.
A coffee and water station appears "front-of-house," while other kitchen amenities are located behind the wall. The separation of functions helps to maintain a clean, minimal aesthetic and also decreases overcrowding in these areas.
Project zones, dedicated areas for team collaboration, are aligned against floor to ceiling windows and overlook the street below.
Our Return to Studio plan reduces density in the studio by phasing our return and scheduling employees for on and off days that alternate studio seating.
“We’re often designing client spaces for hypothetical situations we assume will occur in the future. The New York studio is a case study for resilient and sustainable design in real time.”

– Brent Capron, Interior Design Director

“Our first priority is making sure the staff feels safe and comfortable returning to work. Beyond that, we’re most looking forward to re-committing to the values our workplaces have come to represent: identity, a sense of belonging, community…many of which we previously took for granted.”

– Bill Harris