With its recent move to Midtown Manhattan, CFA required interiors that reflected its new cultural shift, moving closer to its progressive counterparts. To communicate the organization’s casual yet professional candor, the designers utilized the industrial bones already present in the space and juxtaposed them with materials common in banking environments. Exposed steel beams and floor-to-ceiling windows play on New York’s industrial aesthetic while a Calcutta marble kitchen island and rich Blonde Wood millwork benches and wall panels allude to the financial industry.
The open floor plan was strategically organized to focus on the experience. From the moment they enter the office, employees and visitors alike know that they are in a welcoming workplace. Rather than a reception desk, they are greeted by a casual lounge area with a pantry and kitchen island. The latter, which can also host presentations and events, perfectly exemplifies what the organization wants to communicate: this is a social place.
The rest of the office enables collaboration and open conversation. Long, shared desks run along the southern and eastern perimeters while executive offices, individual phone booths, a library workshop, and two large meeting rooms anchor the center. The last elements conjoin by a central, operable wall. Each separate room’s audio and video equipment and furniture can be connected as well.
Woods Bagot’s in-house Brand Studio implemented a series of graphics communicating CFA’s global reach which furthers connectivity and reiterates the modernization of this new workplace.
Woods Bagot’s Design Technologies team also played an essential role in the design process. To demonstrate to the client how the space would feel before its realization, the team employed its virtual reality (VR) equipment to unveil the proposal during a “Beer and Goggles” session where the design team and client shared some beverages and viewed its potential office through VR glasses.