Since 2004, the end user, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, has provided access to quality early education for the 153,000 4-year-olds in LA County. In looking for their new home, they were focused on 5 goals:
· Move into a space that reflected the energy and enthusiasm they have for children
· Use their funds wisely, as there are children to help. Make the space nice, but don’t overdo.
· Make the space professional – after all they have people that come in to give them large donations
· Make the space flexible, as they move from 120 staff to 500 when their on-site teachers come in one day a week
· Make the space current – they need to attract and retain great talent.
The design team took on the somewhat conflicting goals with a Visioning Session to set the client’s environmental Brand. When entering the space, you are immediately greeted by 7 foot tall laughing children that seem to dance out of the sunlight. The client’s strong orange/blue brand colors are boldly displayed on a ‘professional’ neutral background. The Shaw carpet throughout represents ancient pavers – representing the long path taken – and its ombre background easy hides soils from this active office.
Private offices dropped to 10% and the open areas moved to benching. These two decisions allowed the client to grow by 30% and still leave room for open gathering areas. The gatherings are designed with multiple seating types to support choice, flex spaces for the field teachers, and a change of environment to encourage creativity.