In our July issue, out soon, we added to our usual display of hospitality projects, looking into the new workspaces of a few design firms.
The ideal office space, much like any hospitality project, has to offer comfort while also being inspiring. Most people spend more time at their office than anywhere else. Coworkers know more about you than your own family, and your desk becomes your personal sanctuary (though mine looks more like a post-apocalyptic war zone).
Because of that, the office is vital to creating the heartbeat of any company, as we learned from one of the firms we talked to: Dyer, Indiana-based IIG, which recently renovated its space.
Why: After a decade in business, the company outgrew its 2,000-square-foot space. “We hit the drawing board” and created a 5,000-square-foot space that includes private offices, collaborative work stations, a design studio, conference rooms, additional small meeting spaces, waiting areas, and a break room, explains firm president Patti Tritschler.
Location was important. Because IIG is located 18 miles outside of Chicago, “we wanted to create an environment that could offer the Millennial a place they would want to travel to,” she says. The new office faces a state forest preserve offering a verdant landscape and natural light. “Being surrounded with this landscape and exposure to the outdoors was what solidified the deal,” she adds.
Aesthetic: The design focused on three zones: areas to create design, areas to develop design, and areas to communicate design to the clients, she explains. Meeting space to conduct conferences calls with smartboard technology was a must, as well as additional technological advancements including wifi throughout the studio. Tritschler says it was also important to have large areas for “our designers to pin inspiration and concepts with access to a smartboard for Internet use while in the design studio.”
Lighting offers a modern aesthetic and artwork brings the office to life. “We chose office furniture that is functional for collaboration and teaming,” such as ottomans on wheels that can roll from station to station. In addition, breakout tables can be reconfigured and relocated throughout the office.
Highlights: The relationship between the natural light and the color palette—warm taupe with accents of orange and teal. “We took advantage of the wonderful natural light coming into the space and used it to create energy within our color palette,” she says.
Also on Tritschler’s list of favorites: a think-tank area that provides banquette seating along with exercise-style ottomans to promote healthy posture for team members. “The environment we created has made us more efficient, collaborative and energized,” she says.