New York is famous for being an incredibly compact—yet active—city, so when Woods Bagot started to renovate its new Manhattan studio, it was sure to capitalize on this special climate.
Created by the firm’s own architects, the design scheme is intended to create collaboration and showcase design—both as inspiration and a product of the firm. Coming from a space the studio had outgrown, the designers wanted to integrate major improvements sympathetic to both the employees and their potential clients. As a result, the firm’s employees now have a variety of places to congregate, such as a living room, kitchen, and several conference rooms.
Unfinished concrete floors and columns both reflect the industrial history of the surrounding built environment and act as a neutral foundation for designers to play freely with textures and finishes. At the widest part of the office, employees sit at four massive walnut laminate workbenches that serve as both their designated desks and a communal workplace. Between each pair of workbenches are custom-made open storage units comprised of metal piping and large, built-in linoleum pin boards made out of oxidized linseed oil, rosin, and finely ground cork. Designers use these to stow away their personal belongings and to display the most recent renderings and detail drawings of projects they are working on.