The client sought an innovative and inspiring design for this new workplace, which houses three separate, non-clinical business units that form part of the organization’s leadership team. The client is world-renowned for the research-based, people-focused model of care that forms the foundation for their many proprietary healthcare offerings, from hospitals and urgent care clinics to physician offices and cancer treatment centers. Their people-focused approach is also directed inwards, with employee experience a high priority. The departments for whom the new office was designed had not previously worked in such proximity and the move represented a substantial shift in their corporate environment. Developing a design that would generate the right office dynamic between the different departments was a fundamental project objective. Creating a new office for a group that is design savvy themselves—the client’s internal design group is one of the departments that moved into the space—was an exciting challenge. The client’s trust level and rapport with the design team was evident in the frequent sharing of ideas and opinions, as well as the comfort level of both groups in challenging design concepts and providing constructive feedback to push the design to excellence. The design team was cognizant that the new office may prove to be an uncomfortable amount of change for some. To ease this transition, change management was proactively addressed by the design team presenting at the client’s all-staff meetings; familiarizing staff with the new design and offering opportunities to ask questions well in advance of the move.
Several interactive visioning sessions informed the design. Overwhelming group consensus and a strong collaborative culture favored open work areas along the building perimeter, with glass-fronted private offices pulled towards the center. As a result, both open space and offices are flooded with daylight and enjoy expansive city views. The brief also called for a variety of workspaces to encourage employees to get away from their desks and collaborate, making acoustical solutions a necessity. A large felt light fixture installed above an open breakaway space provides one such integrated solution, softening the buzz of colleagues connecting while adding visual interest. A central work café offers a variety of seating options, including a trio of bright red booths, for breaks and informal meetings. Flooring choices offer subtle orientation cues, with polished cement in high-traffic public and common spaces, while office and meeting areas are carpeted in a selection of colors and textures intended to evoke a welcoming, hospitality-style environment. A painterly blend of light and medium greys in workspaces promotes a sense of calm and focus, and emulates the shades of grey used in the large-scale, custom-designed felt map installed behind the reception desk. Special attention was given to delineating co-working spaces and select meeting rooms, with unique carpeting used to gently inspire and enliven without becoming a distraction. Featuring irregular shapes and striations in a pale cream tone, these rich, umber-colored carpets appear to be vintage pieces at first glance, adding a sense of nostalgic comfort to these collaborative spaces.