MNA found a loft space that had ample natural light, a usable existing wood floor, original brick walls, industrial windows and exposed timber framing and then built upon its inherent “green” characteristics. The choice of the location and space itself was essential to the design goal of creating a warm, timeless, flexible, open workspace through an economy of design and energy use.
To maximize the existing daylight and air throughout the loft, wide door openings and walkways were designed along the long dimension of the space to provide views, light and cross ventilation. Three “pods” of white-stained popular that house senior staff and a conference room are located along the length of the loft. The spaces between pods are smaller meeting areas, each under a skylight. Studio desks are banked against the brick wall that runs the length of the space.
Presentation areas are provided for both large and small meetings, with ample pin-up space of over 20 linear feet of sliding floor-to-ceiling panels in the larger area. Special consideration was given to sustainability in the design through the use of high efficiency heat pump system with multiple fan coil units, high efficiency metal halide and fluorescent lighting (no incandescent), high efficiency toilets and dishwasher. Metal shelves, flat files, filing cabinets, table tops and desktops from the old officer were re-used. New sustainable materials included cork mosaic tile in the lavatories and white-stained poplar cladding the pods.
By selecting a space based on its existing features of light, air and physical character, the designers could create an office that was efficient both in terms of construction costs and operating costs. The new office serves as an example to potential clients of the firm’s approach to design, being mindful of economy of design as well as energy. For the staff, the design maintains the valued communal interaction of the previous office, but also provides required flexibility and privacy.
Location: New York, NY, US