One of the fastest growing real estate companies in the US is a Washington, DC based investor, developer, and operator of mixed-use projects with offices in nine locations around the country. Their new offices are located in The Wharf, the firm’s newest development project located along the Potomac riverfront. The goal was to generate energy and momentum for the future by reaffirming their vision and values; sharing their commitment to their people, clients and partners; expressing their thought leadership; and celebrating their history of success. To achieve this goal, the client wanted to pursue five strategies:
Strategy 1: Drive a flat and fluid organization. Create real and virtual people connections across the company through collaboration, learning and social activities.
Strategy 2: Engage people with our brand story of entrepreneurial vision, project discipline and financial capability. Through integrated and applied design, show how these qualities propel the client’s impact for our people, our investors and our communities.
Strategy 3: Right-size space and technology tools for collaborations at every scale. Create a variety of place types, sizes and configurations, with plug-and-play technology tools, that allow for people to gather for purpose-based and impromptu needs.
Strategy 4: Extend our project-based qualities of community and hospitality into our work spaces. Design places that are as comfortable, welcoming, inspiring and dynamic as the places we build.
Strategy 5: Spark improved engagement and communications through an inclusive project process. Provide a consistently transparent and communicative process where people feel their voices are being heard.
After being greeted at the reception area, guests are invited into a welcoming space where they are offered a drink and can view images of the client’s latest projects on a large video screen. They can also relax in a warm and inviting living room, complete with fireplace and access to an outdoor terrace overlooking an historic fish market. Off of the welcoming space is a long corridor that leads to an executive conference area. Along this corridor is a lenticular wall that is perceived in three different ways and acts as a primary branding element for the space. Entering the corridor, a daytime photograph of The Wharf rendered in a bokeh effect is displayed on a series of 6” wide aluminum fins. The bokeh effect blurs the photo and is more sympathetic to a segmented image. As one walks down the hall, the company’s legacy projects become visible between the aluminum fins. The view when returning back to the welcoming area changes to an evening photograph of the Wharf. Recessed downlights in the elevator lobby, reception, and lenticular wall corridor are laid out in patterns of the major constellations which acknowledge the nautical theme of the site and the risk taking spirit of early explorers who navigated the sea by the stars. Further reflecting an entrepreneurial culture that is constantly evolving, dichroic glass fins are inserted throughout the space that change color as they are viewed from different angles. The project is seeking both LEED and Fitwel certification.