Cool Offices: Friends & Neighbors designs creative office in former Nate’s Clothing space

“We love every feature of the space,” said Mark Bubula, president and co-founder. He described being on the ground floor in bustling downtown Minneapolis and feeling the heartbeat of the city as fitting for a company that calls itself Friends & Neighbors.

One of the conference rooms in the space is directly below the sidewalk. “So we say, ‘Not only can we see people, but we can hear them and feel them, too,’ ” Bubula joked.

The interior of the office — primarily designed by Bubula and Tom Fugleberg, agency co-founder and creative lead — is a mix of residential and modern, Fugleberg said. The door handles, armoire and living room area show residential touches that mix with more modern aspects of the office through technology, creativity and innovation.

“We are always trying to remind each other to never think provincially,” Fugleberg said.

Throughout the 7,000-square-foot space there are exposed lightbulbs, exposed brick and other industrial touches. Woodwork throughout the space, including tables, is made from elm. Though not commercially harvested, it has a really beautiful texture, Bubula said. All wood used is from Wood from the Hood, a local provider of reclaimed urban hardwoods.

The office also has two kitchens, an entertainment space, more room to collaborate and break rooms for alone time — all things the agency did not have at its previous 1,100-square-foot space in the Colonial Warehouse, Fugleberg said.

Bubula and Fugleberg said multiple visitors have mentioned they could see themselves living in the cozy office.

“We’ve created a space that makes people so comfortable that they want to live here, and that’s what Friends & Neighbors is all about, bringing people together,” Bubula said.

Passersby also have stopped in on occasion, wondering what the space entails and taking away from their visit some design inspiration.

“We’re so inspired by this city. It’s good to know we’re inspiring people back,” Fugleberg said.

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