The impetus behind the design of the space, currently in process to receive LEED Silver Certification, was to accommodate both employees and clients in a unified way. This client’s first priority was to reflect an iconic first impression for its visitors, something that allows them to build their reputation for excellence as recruit new professionals.  This client sought a new headquarters that reflects their strength, their timeless success and inimitable reputation; a space that encourages excellence and fuses varied viewpoints into one common goal while also embracing a diverse, national clientele.  Key goals included:

  • Iconic first impression
  • “HUB” for optimizing adjacencies
  • Idea Center connecting marketing and sales
  • Impromptu collaborative zones
  • LEED Gold Certification

To ensure the client’s vision was conveyed to every visitor entering the space, it was crucial to bring ideas from the various departments together and ask questions of all willing to share their voice.  This collaborative approach brought people together and resulted in a smart, singular concept expressing that “first impression” so critical to this international commercial brokerage company.

First impression and “wow” factor moments within the space carried significant weight but could not be allowed to overpower the design.  Employee workspace needed to be balanced with official, as well as casual, conference and meeting locations.

Due to space restraints, key “first impression” spaces were carefully interwoven to double as functional and usable parts of the space maintaining the client’s desired corporate image.  Key internal adjacencies were linked with a functional space or “hub” optimizing that adjacency.

A prime example of this is the creation of the “idea center” which connects marketing and sales.  The ‘Idea Center’ functions not only as a dedicated place for marketing strategists, graphic designers, and sales associates to collaborate on projects, but also to showcase this collaboration for prospective clients. The Idea Center’s glass walls and location within view of the reception area offer clients the opportunity to observe the “inner workings” of the firm. The pivoting wall panels can be used to display completed projects and/or work in progress, or closed to provide privacy during meetings. Projects are also on display to clients in the large conference room, where a long wood accent wall features key projects, highlighting the magnitude of this firms worldwide network. An operable partition wall allows the conference room to double in size for large meetings and events. The conference room, with its glass walls, provides a backdrop to a large and welcoming reception area, and frames a view of the downtown Salt Lake City skyline. In the reception area, visitors are greeted with a combination of modern light-colored fabrics and paint, and more classic walnut wall panels, symbolizing their vision for the future as well as its long and successful history. Beyond the reception area, the workstations’ low walls, and the use of glass walls for enclosed offices, optimize the penetration of natural light from the building’s perimeter full-height glass windows to the interior space. In addition, indirect lighting and an integrated daylight control system, serve to blend natural and artificial light, eliminate hot spots, and optimize energy efficiency. Several additional features were designed specifically with employee comfort and efficiency in mind. A private lounge just off the reception area, equipped with an entertainment system, provides employees a venue for relaxation and casual interaction, while other workspace features, including a large print room and a variety of meeting areas scattered throughout the office, enhance employee interaction and productivity.

For existing and future employees, the light fabrics and paint, and contrasting walnut wall panels are intended to invoke a sense of modernism with a touch of classic materials. The workstation’s low walls and use of glass walls for enclosed offices optimize the transmittance of natural light from the building’s perimeter full-height glass panels. A private lounge just off the reception area provides employees and prospective employees an opportunity to interact casually. Some of the other features include a full-scale print room, a distribution of spontaneous meeting areas, two adjacent conference rooms which double as a single large training room, and indirect lighting to eliminate hot spots and soften the blend with natural light.

Employees are delighted with the space.  The design is very different than most firms in the area and has received incredibly positive feedback from clients and visitors, much more so than anticipated.  So much so that they have been able to successfully recruit new brokers and continue servicing existing clientele. The indirect lighting strategies blend softly with naturally well lit space.  Planning key space adjacencies have synergized performance between departments.  Designing for existing and future employees with open workstations including impromptu collaborative zones and a casual enclave for “let loose” office culture has been a huge success allowing them to now look at doubling current square footage and expand into the next level above their current space.

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