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Gensler Designs Western Union’s Denver Headquarters For the Digital Future

PROJECT NAME Western Union HQ
LOCATION Denver
FIRM Gensler
SQ. FT. 250,000 SQF

Yes, they of the singing telegram and the currency transfer. Western Union has an illustrious heritage of innovation starting in 1851 with the intention to build a telegraph line connecting Buffalo to St. Louis and continuing a decade later with the debut of a transcontinental telegraph. Western Union also issued one of the first charge cards in 1914, offered a public facsimile service in 1935, and launched a commercial satellite in 1974. On a sweeter note, let’s not forget the CandyGram, introduced in 1959.

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In a nook at the Gensler-designed Denver headquarters of Western Union, custom digitally printed photographs tell the company’s 168-year story. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Fast-forward to the present to discover that the company has developed a robust digital platform and established a headquarters far from upstate New York. “Its roots in the Denver area run deep,” Gensler design principal and studio director Michelle Liebling reveals—24 years, to be exact. “But people don’t know they’re here.” That has changed with a move from suburban Englewood to a high-profile Gensler-designed spec building at the Denver Technological Center, part of a 42-acre campus anchored by light rail in the heart of the city’s burgeoning tech corridor. Western Union leased 250,000 square feet on eight of the building’s 16 floors and brought Gensler back for the interiors.

Increasing visibility and making a commitment to Denver were the project’s intangibles. Its big driver, Liebling continues, was to help Western Union “recruit and retain” by supporting an about-face for a corporate culture previously siloed by a maze of enclosed offices in spread-out buildings. Needless to say, all this had to happen on a crazy schedule, 14 months from start to finish. “We were issuing drawing packages and designing while the interiors were simultaneously under construction,” she says.

Back-painted low-iron glass defines an elevator lobby. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Connectivity, of course, is one of today’s buzzwords. It’s particularly pertinent to Western Union’s mantra of “moving money for better.” So Liebling emphasized workplace connections, not just among colleagues on a given level but also for the total population of 1,300 employees occupying the vertical campus. “We had to entice them to experience spaces outside their assigned location,” she explains. Her tactic? By giving different levels unique geographical identities, she created a global grand tour of destination amenities. Subtle and suggestive, absolutely. Literal or super-kitsch, no way.

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These “community hubs,” as she calls them, are based on regions where Western Union has a significant presence, and she developed thematic references accordingly. From the bottom up: a souk, as found in the Middle East; a Parisian marché aux puces, its furnishings intentionally mismatched; a town plaza typical of South America; a North American coffee bar where rows of mugs spell out, “We always connect with people. That is our DNA”; a night market from Singapore; an African home with clusters of basketlike pendant fixtures; and an international pub. Each is a lounge also conceived to be an informal lunch spot, paired with a pantry—there’s no corporate cafeteria.

The same level’s lounge-pantry hub, representing a Paris flea market, features Barbara Barry sofas and custom walnut shelving filled with company memorabilia. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

“People do go to various community hubs just to switch it up for something different,” Liebling notes, having observed during post-occupancy visits. “They’re used all day, and each has its own sensibility. Some are quiet, some intense and vibrant.” Proof of concept.

The hubs furthermore determine the corresponding level’s signature color, as in emerald green for South America or blue, like jeans, for North America. Color coding starts with the elevator lobbies’ back-painted glass walls and carries through to the office areas, where a mural interprets the money-moving logo as pertaining to that level’s theme. “You have to walk past it to get to the community hub,” she explains.

In the lounge-pantry hub based on a South American plaza, hand-painted ponderosa pine tables alternate with ottomans by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Which brings us to the broad strokes of workplace configuration. Slim, low workstations hug the window walls, which provide breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, to say nothing of the brilliant sunlight. Private offices and an array of meeting rooms are inboard. Of course, there’s a stadium stair. It rises from a carpeted area with reconfigurable seating, used for presentations, to arrive at the very top level, where the executives work. Here, the CEO occupies his personal 4,800-square-foot domain, and 32 can gather at the boardroom’s horseshoe-shape table.

The top two levels are the only ones not to feature what Liebling calls “focus nooks.” These niches—ad hoc meeting venues ablaze with graphics evoking the geographical location in question—add both visual interest and functionality along the typically underused corridors between private offices and the base building core. One particular nook best tells the story of Western Union’s evolution from daring pioneer to global enterprise. Behind a row of green lounge sofas, a black-and-white photomontage shows folks from around the world, through the decades. Mounted in front of the photos are two actual bicycles, one vintage and the other a new racing bike. The former represents Western Union’s original form of delivery service. The latter looks to the future, alluding to efficiency and speed. Emblazoned on the rear wheel’s solid disk, yellow capital letters proclaim: “Always moving. Always innovating. Always connecting.”

Keep scrolling to view more images from the project > 

Seating by Jang Won Yoon fills a nook facing a world map of custom clocks set to the appropriate time zones. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Blue is the signature color for the North America level. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Its coffee bar combines butcher block and encaustic cement tile. Photography by Eric Laignel.
The oak stadium stair descends from the executive level to the presentation area. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Carrara marble tops the boardroom’s custom table. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Yellow denotes Africa. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Printed to resemble telegram stamps, MDF panels line a nook furnished with lounge sofas by Graham Design. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Todd Bracher Studio chairs gather in a meeting room where wool felt covers a wall. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Paola Lenti folding chairs sit near the African lounge-pantry hub’s assemblage of straw and rattan baskets. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Project Team: Erin Vinezeano; Christy Headlee; Abigail Parr; Lauren Hucek; Lenny Camargo; Jon Gambrill; Lindsay Salazar; Alex Ilaoa: Gensler. Rock­Skip: Graphics Consultant. Charter­sills: Lighting Consul­tant. Fortis Structural: Struc­tural Engineer. Woodcraft Un­limited: Woodwork. Howell Construction: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From Top: Martin Brattrud: Lounge Sofas (Nooks). Kvadrat: Lounge Sofa Upholstery. HBF: Sofas (Paris Hub), Table, Chairs (Meeting Room). Sandler Seating: Chairs (Paris Hub). RH: Rectangular Table. Hekman Furniture: Round Table. Herman Miller through Hive Modern: Pedestal Table. Scott Group Studio: Rug. Pfeifer Studio: White Side Table (Paris Hub), Side Tables (South America Hub), Stools (Africa Hub). Sina Pearson: Striped Ottoman Fabric (South America Hub). KnollTextiles: Solid Ottoman Fabric (South America Hub), Chair Fabric (Meeting Room). JANUS et Cie: Tables (South America Hub). Magis: Chairs. XGrass: Turf. Bernhardt Design: Ottomans (South America Hub), Booths, Tables, Booth Upholstery, Cushion Upholstery (Nook). Hightower: Bench, Arm­chairs (South America Hub), Armchairs (Africa Hub). Kentwood Floors: Platform (South Amer­ica Hub), Stadium (Stadium Stair). Mod­ernus: Sliding Glass Doors. Grand Rapids Chair Company: Stools (Coffee Bar), Custom Communal Table (Africa Hub). Clé: Island Tile (Cof­fee Bar). Marset: Pendant Fixtures. Stylex: Sectional (Stadium Stair). HBF Textiles: Sectional Upholstery. Tiger Leather: Bench Upholstery. Centerlight: Linear Lighting. Arktura: Ceiling Panels. Flor: Carpet Tile (Stadium Stair, Boardroom, Africa Hub). Tuohy: Custom Table (Boardroom). Wilkhahn: Chairs. Newmat: Acoustical Stretch Ceiling. FilzFelt: Wall Covering. Lowenstein through OFS: Sectional (Africa Hub). Camira: Sectional Fabric. Moroso: Coffee Table. Offecct: Lounge Chairs. Paola Lenti: Folding Chairs. El Torrent: Pendant Fixtures. Variance Specialty Finishes: Venetian Plaster. Throughout: Benjamin Moore & Co.; Dryfall Paint; Sherwin-Williams Com­pany: Paint. Premier Press: Custom Graphic Film, Custom Wall Covering. MDC: Acoustic Ceiling Baffles. Birchwood Lighting; Focal Point; Luminii; 3G Lighting; v2 Lighting Group: Lighting. Acme Scenic: Custom Wall Treatments, Custom Clocks.

> See more from the July 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading Gensler Designs Western Union’s Denver Headquarters For the Digital Future

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Rapt Studio Transforms Mid-Century Marina Del Rey Complex into an Airy Tech Hub

PROJECT NAME MDR Truss
LOCATION Marina Del Rey
FIRM Rapt Studio
SQ. FT. 130,000 SQF

Leveling the single-story smattering of 1950s garages and factories was one option. Renovating, repurposing, and enlarging them was another. The former would provide a blank slate, the latter more of a challenge—but more character. Rapt Studio CEO and chief creative officer David Galullo, prolific designer of workplaces for such companies as Google, Twitter, and PayPal, opted to retain all but one of the six brick and concrete-block structures for the Marina Del Rey, California, campus now called MDR Truss. Today, it’s home to Zefr digital advertising, the Bouqs Co., an online farm-to-table flower delivery service, and real estate developer the Bradmore Group, the client that hired Rapt for the 130,000-square-foot project. So enamored with the result, president and CEO David Bohn decided to move the company into one of the buildings.

A site-specific installation by Settlers LA hangs in the Rapt Studio–designed headquarters of Zefr, a digital advertising company in Marina del Rey, California. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

“David was looking to take advantage of what was here before,” begins Galullo, just off the plane from Milan, where Rapt showcased its debut Salone del Mobile installation Tell Me More. “He and his team understood that these little industrial buildings could actually add up to something pretty.” Rapt was tasked with creating the master plan for MDR Truss: Initial meetings with the client illustrated how the 3-acre site would be used, where cars could park, and how Rapt would work with the landscape architect to plant low-water and native species and create pedestrian pathways, among other essential changes. Bradmore was so impressed with the concept that the initial budget was increased. Ultimately, Rapt added a second floor to one building, de­cks to two of them, cleaned and re-painted all exterior masonry, and relocated entryways and exits and inserted roll-up glass garage doors for more light and better flow in nearly all the buildings. Additional outdoor spaces such as fire pits and a lawn for employee pets even “feel a bit resort,” Galullo notes.

Watch now: “Tell Me More,” Rapt Studio’s Installation at Salone del Mobile

The company occupies four buildings at MDF Truss, an office complex master-planned by Rapt. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Rapt was then hired again by Bradmore for its interiors and by Zefr for its offices, which occupy 40,000 square feet across four buildings. “We were morphing the exterior design based on what the interiors needed,” Galullo explains. Because all six buildings were leased prior to the completion of construction, the firm was able to deeply customize the design.

Reception’s white oak desk is backed by a Carrara marble panel, all custom. Photography by Eric Laignel

 

Creating an upgraded space for Zefr meant pushing a company with a start-up mentality—it was founded in 2008 and focuses on YouTube content targeting—into a more sophisticated space. “The idea was like Hey, we still want to be scrappy, but let’s have moments where we remind people that we’re heading in the right direction,” Galullo says. “For us, a brand is about the organization’s attitude, personality, and culture.” The result is a mixture of refined custom sectionals and walnut tables with furnishings from the hipper end of mass retailers and unpretentious, locally focused artwork. “It doesn’t feel like a dorm room, more like your second apartment,” Galullo adds, glancing down from the deck off one of the building’s newly added second floor at the rack of staffers’ sandy surfboards and the Zefr-branded skateboard ramp.

Hans Hornemann’s sofa faces leather butterfly chairs in a meeting area. Photography by Eric Laignel.

In Zefr’s main building, Rapt took advantage of the 16-foot ceiling with site-specific installations. One is at the entry: a cascade of white ribbons designed by art fabrication company Settlers LA that’s akin to an enor­mous ocean whitecap but that Galullo de­scribes as “kind of flowy.” Neptune Glassworks, another area artisan, pitched its canopy of handblown  glass orbs to Rapt and it ended up above the café, where occa­sional blue walls further nod to sea and sky.

The satin ribbons range from 3 to 30 feet long. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Galullo calls Rapt “transdiscipli­nary, which is like equal measure on every discipline coming together to form something new.” In the case of Zefr, that meant curating an art and furniture offering “that’s an interesting and eclectic blend,” he says. “The last thing we want is for the office to feel like it was decorated to be perfect. People spend a lot of time here, so we focused on the spaces where people are going to hang.” So, for Zefr’s myriad lounge, meeting, and break-out areas, there’s always a duo of lounge chairs, plus a sofa, coffee table, and rug—a homey configuration that differentiates them from the rows of workstations.

A sofa by Harrison and Nicholas Condos furnishes a deck off a new second floor. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

The approach also meant eschewing corner offices (although there are private phone rooms in the core of each building as well as traditional conference rooms). One corner did surprise Galullo, however. It’s that outdoor deck space he created off a building’s new second floor. “I was worried it might feel like a cage because we wrapped it into the structure,” he recalls. “But it turned out to be an unexpected nugget.”

The company logo is painted onto the plywood skateboard ramp. Photography by Eric Laignel.

“When we set out on this project, we had to tell the story of both Zefr and the site’s history,” Galullo concludes. “It couldn’t just be about maximizing the number of parking spaces, although we did wrestle with that for quite some time.” In a locale where car culture still rules, that’s saying something.

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

Neptune Glassworks’s instal­lation in handblown glass and steel wire enlivens the café. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A corridor’s printed canvas echoes the community’s seaside location. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A pair of Busk + Hertzog lounge chairs compose a break-out area. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Most of the buildings in the 3-acre MDF Truss complex date to the 1950s. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Hee Welling chairs surround a Studio Hopkins table in a con­ference room. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Custom workstations in an office area also by Studio Hopkins. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Jason Miller pendant fixtures and tables by Charles and Ray Eames outfit the café booths. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Project Team: Sam Farhang (Creative Director); Kristen Woods; Derrick Prodigalidad; Krisada Surichamorn; Glenn Yoo; John Stempniak; Gigi Allen; Andrew Ashey; Scott Johnson; Michael Maciocia; Sasha Agapov; Alex Adamson; Semone Kessler; Rosela Barraza; Daniela Covarrubias; Justin Chen: Rapt Studio. EPT Design: Landscape Architect. Structural Focus: Structural Engineer. KPFF: Civil Engineer. E Engineers: Electrical Engineer. Tarantino Construction: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From top: Muuto: Chairs (Lounge). CB2: Table. Louis Poulsen: Pendant Fixtures. Grand Rapids Chair Co.: Stools. Restora­tion Hardware: Sofas (Lounge, Deck), Coffee Tables (Meeting Area, Deck, Break-Out Area). AM Cabinets: Custom Desk (Reception). Ladies & Gentlemen Studio: Pendant Fixture. Stoneland: Custom Panel. Framebridge: Custom Wall. Normann Copenhagen: Sofa (Meeting Area). Industry West: Chairs (Meet­ing Area), Café Chairs (Reception), Chairs (Café, Break-Out Area, Meeting Room). Herman Miller: Task Chair (Reception), Tables (Café Booths). Alexander & Willis: Custom Sofa (Reception), Custom Tables (Café). Source International: Chair (Meeting Room). Fab­ricut: Drapery. Flat Vernacular: Wallpaper (Café). Apparatus: Sconces. Softline: Lounge Chairs (Break-Out Area). Hay: Chairs (Conference Room). FabriSPAN: Ceiling Panels. OCL: Pendant Fixtures. Ege: Carpet. Pair: Table (Conference Room), Custom Workstations (Office Area). SitOn­It: Task Chairs (Office Area). Modulyss: Carpet. Roll & Hill: Pendant Fixtures (Café Booths). AM Cabinets: Custom Banquettes. Holly Hunt: Banquette Fabric. Sherwin-Williams Company: Paint. Throughout: West Elm: Rugs. Pfeifer Studio: Side Tables. Bp Glass Garage Doors: Cus­tom Garage Doors. Assa Abloy: Door Pulls. Lumenwerx: Linear Fixtures. Senso: Pendant Fix­tures. Wac Lighting: Track Lighting.

> See more from the May 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading Rapt Studio Transforms Mid-Century Marina Del Rey Complex into an Airy Tech Hub

Perkins + Will Blurs Work-Leisure Lines for Madison Marquette’s Washington, D.C. Headquarters

PROJECT NAME Madison Marquette
LOCATION Washington
FIRM Perkins + Will
SQ. FT. 17,800 SQF

Escorting several visitors through real-estate developer Madison Marquette’s new headquarters at the Wharf in Washington, D.C., chief development and asset management officer Peter Cole opens a closet door.

“Everybody squeeze in,” he commands. Inside is a counter with a white lacquered backsplash, which slides open seconds later to reveal a conference room. “In lengthy meetings, people wonder, Are we ever going to eat?” Cole explains. “Then they turn around and they’re like, Where did that buffet come from?”

In a corridor of the Madison Marquette headquarters, a storytelling wall slices up a photomural of the Wharf, one of the real-estate developer’s projects. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Two of the visitors, Perkins + Will design principal Ken Wilson and senior associate Haley Nelson, have seen the trick many times. They designed it, after all, to convey hospitality as a theme for a developer whose many mixed-use projects, including the 3.2-million-square-foot Wharf itself, purposefully blur the traditional lines between living, work, and leisure.

Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wander’s pendant fixture hangs above a Bassam Fellows sofa in the lounge. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Most of the 17,800-square-foot workplace operates on the show-don’t-tell principle, borrowing odd angles for phone rooms, embedding device chargers in terrazzo counters, and combining textures and finishes befitting a luxury hotel.

The company’s name appears hardly anywhere. The primary branding element is down a hallway leading to a conference area. On one side, a wall of glazing admits daylight and views of the Potomac River.

The storytelling wall’s fins are aluminum. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

The eye is drawn, however, to the interior wall, where a series of 6-inch-wide, floor-to-ceiling aluminum fins—each imprinted with a slice of a photomural of the Wharf, rendered in bokeh effect—forms a lenticular installation: Approached from the right, the abstract image appears to be a daytime scene; from the left, it’s evening. Between the fins, a millwork display presents a photo series telling the company’s story through iconic projects from New Jersey to California.

Reception’s desk is backed by a lacquered logo wall, both custom. Photography by Eric Laignel.

“The images are held in place magnetically and can be switched out to reflect specific services,” Wilson says. Those include development, leasing, and management for 330 assets in 24 states and a $6.2 billion investment portfolio. Which means, Wilson says, that the most important design consideration was to create a space “that still looks good with boxes of pizza everywhere.”

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

Images of signature Madison Marquette projects are displayed between the fins. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Jeremy Pyles globe pendants illuminate the lounge’s custom terrazzo-topped island. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Claudia and Harry Washington lounge chairs stand near the communal walnut table in the café. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Ash-veneered storage and a custom quartz desktop define a collaborative work space. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Shared areas are separated from workstations and offices by a partition. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Millwork in the same veneer pairs with ceramic tile in a restroom. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Sources: From Top: Geiger: Chairs (Lounge). HBF Textiles: Chair Fabric. Vitra: Side Tables. Flos: Floor Lamp. Arzu Studio Hope: Rug. Moooi: Pendant Fixture. GSky: Plant Wall. Davis: Coffee Table (Lounge), Sofa (Café). Niche: Globe Pendant Fixtures (Lounge, Café). Herman Miller: Sofa, Barstools (Lounge), Dining Chairs (Café), Work-Stations, Task Chair, Stools (Office Area). Luum: Wall Covering (Reception, Office Area). 3M: Dichroic Film (Reception). Heath Ceramics: Backsplash (Lounge). Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies: Island Solid-Surfacing. Kohler Co.: Sink, Sink Fittings. Restoration Hardware: Communal Table (Café). Bernhardt: Lounge Chairs, Wood Side Table. Maharam: Chair Fabric, Rug. Blu Dot: Coffee Table. Spinneybeck: Sofa Upholstery. Arktura: Ceiling Baffles. Formica: Custom Millwork (Office Area, Restroom). Transwall: Storefront System (Office Area). USG: Acoustical Ceiling Tile. McGrory Glass: Partition Markerboard. Clarus: Markerboard (Offices). Design Within Reach: Bench (Restroom). Electric Mirror: Mirror. Toto: Sink Fittings. Mockett: Cabinetry Hardware. American Standard: Toilet. Kohler Co.: Towel Bars. Crossville: Floor Tile. Architectural Ceramics: Wall Tile. Carnegie Fabrics: Wall Covering. Throughout: Focal Point: Recessed Fixtures. reSAWN Timber Co.: Wood Flooring. Shaw Contract Group: Carpet. Architectural Veneers International: Custom Veneer. DuPont: Solid-Surfacing. Benjamin Moore & Co.: Paint. Patricia Kazinski: Lighting Consultant. GHT Limited Consulting Engineers: MEP. Columbia Woodworking: Woodwork. James G. Davis Construction Corporation: General Contractor.

> See more from the May 2019 issue of Interior Design

Rottet Studio Makes Design the Star at the Los Angeles Office of Paradigm

PROJECT NAME Paradigm
LOCATION Los Angeles
FIRM Rottet Studio
SQ. FT. 82,000 SQF

“Light and movement.” That’s what Sam Gores said he wanted to see upon entering his office in Los Angeles. And when the chairman and CEO of Paradigm Talent Agencyasks for something, that is precisely what he gets—particularly when the project is designed by Rottet Studio. Interior Design Hall of Fame member Lauren Rottet’s firm is itself a fixture in the entertainment business, with credits including offices for United Talent Agency and Viacom.

A custom reception desk in folded and welded mirror-polished stainless-steel stands on engineered European white-oak floor planks at Rottet Studio’s Los Angeles office for Paradigm Talent Agency. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

A powerhouse with eight locations across the U.S. as well as in Toronto and London, Paradigm “understood that architecture does matter,” Rottet Studio founding principal Richard Riveire begins. “They really get that an agency can leapfrog over competitors by bringing everyone under one roof, giving them a great place to work, and making sure that conversations and impromptu meetings happen.” So, employees from the music, literary, film, and TV divisions, previously at three separate L.A. sites, are now together in Beverly Hills.

Milo Baughman–inspired chairs face a leather-covered sofa in the green room. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Notable for a landmark fountain, a monumental pyramid, standing in the front courtyard, the 1980s building had a storied past as the former home of the agency ICM Partners but had been vacant for seven years. Though Riveire and principal Harout Dedeyan term their intervention there “tenant improvement,” that’s just Rottet Studio’s typically understated manner. We call the project a complete gut job, with only the limestone and granite wall cladding and the skylight retained. The 82,000-square-foot U-shape interior was entirely rebuilt. Plus, the courtyard, which previously “leaked like a sieve,” Riveire says, was repaved and replanted around the pyramid.

Rising from reception’s sitting area, stairs offer additional seating on vinyl-covered cushions. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

The greatest challenge was “to figure out new ways of working inside a 30-year-old building,” Riveire continues. “By jamming things together, we could create an exciting design that changes all the time.” The device that “moved the throttle setting toward more common spaces,” he explains, was the insertion of a central stair atrium—obviously the big move. “We had to whack out 1,000 square feet on two of the floors.” 

A Greg Bogin artwork was commissioned for a corridor. Photography by Eric Laignel.

No mere grand staircase, this. It’s not only the people connector between the three levels but also a multitasker. The lower, wider flight can serve as a vertical space for solo work, thanks to the  blocky cushions scattered across the steps, or as a venue for all-hands company meetings, when combined with the reception area and an adjacent conference room.

On three, the reception area features an armless chair by Karim Rashid. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Flights aren’t stacked but slightly rotated inside circular openings that differ in size—difficult to engineer, to say the least. “LED halos accentuate the perimeters,” Dedeyan says. The ensemble presents quite a climb, especially for those with vertigo. A mirrored ceiling produces a dizzying kaleidoscope effect, making the height appear as six stories, not three.

The courtyard’s new granite, concrete, and turf surfaces surround an existing Eric Orr pyramid fountain. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Sharing dramatic creds is the reception desk. Riveire, who’s highly knowledgeable about hospitality projects, too, compares it to “the front desk of a hotel.” He goes on to liken the long, purposely low form in mirror-polished stainless steel to “a squished pickle.” We see inspirations of sculptures by Anish Kapoor. Regardless, it’s an Instagram moment.

Erik Parker’s acrylic collage on canvas punctuates a corridor. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Speaking of art, there’s no shortage of spectacular pieces, some of them commissioned. Initiated by Gores, the program was assembled by a DJ-curator, DB Burkeman, in collaboration with a more conventional art consultant. Standouts include the atrium’s colorful text-based screen prints, kinetic black-and-white photographs of figures in the elevator lobbies, and a corridor’s collage inspired by comic books, hip-hop, and graffiti.

Nylon carpet in a private office. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Surprisingly, knowing Rottet Studio as we do, furnishings are generally not custom. Widely available residential pieces, they could be found in many a stylish living room. Flooring, consistent with that vibe, is white-oak planks in common spaces. “The wood is a contrast to all that stone on the walls,” Riveire explains.

The listening room is acoustically isolated. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Carpeted work spaces follow the customary setup. Glass-fronted private offices for agents face assistants at a benching system. Most offices have sit-stand desks. (Many in the stand position during our visit.) Sprinkled among the offices are casual lounges, up for grabs as needed. What’s unusual is the lack of hierarchy among divisions. No single one ranks above any other.

The stair atrium’s mirror-finished stretched mem­brane ceiling reflects a series of 21 screen prints by Eve Fowler. Photography by Eric Laignel.

 

Conference and meeting rooms and the “signing rooms” encircle the stair atrium. Really, though, everything is an ad hoc meeting space, including  elevator lobbies fitted out with chic and super-comfy seating. There are also pantries and coffee bars aplenty, the best, no doubt, being the ground level’s coffee lounge opening onto the courtyard. Pull up a stool to the marble counter, or plop down on a sofa or armchairs anchored by a houndstooth rug that blends with the same pattern rendered in floor tile.

Reception’s custom wool-silk rug. Photography by Eric Laignel.

The list of amenities goes on: a screening room with adjacent green room, another room filled with candy. According to Paradigm director of special services and guest relations Rozzana Ramos, clients come just to hang out. Linger long enough, and you might spot Antonio Banderas or Henry Golding reading a script or Chris Martin, Ed Sheeren, or Sia headed to the listening room where, Riveire says, they can “crank it up to 11.” 

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

LED halos ringing the stair atrium. Photography by Eric Laignel.
A corridor’s con­struction of album covers with wood and resin by David Ellis. Photography by Eric Laignel.
The lounge on two. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Patricia Urquiola chairs appear in a private office. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Damien Hirst’s deck for Supreme is mounted with other skateboards in an office area. Photography by Eric Laignel.
In the coffee lounge, a focal wall includes artwork by Raymond Pettibon and Ed Ruscha. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Laser-printed photographs by Kenton Parker energize an elevator lobby. Photography by Eric Laignel.
The lacquered logo wall on a granite base. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Project Team: Chris Jones; Theresa Lee; Pegah Koulaeian, Laurence Cartledge: Rottet Studio. Esquared Lighting: Lighting Consultant. Newson Brown Acoustics: Acoustical Consultant. Cybola Systems Corporation: Audio-Visual Consultant. Lendrum Fine Art: Art Consultant. Thornton Tomasetti: Structural Engineer. Arc Engineering: MEP. AMA Project Management: Project Manager. Clune Con­struc­tion Company: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From Front: AM Cabinets: Custom Desk (Recep­tion). Palecek: Coffee Table (Green Room). RH: Chairs, Sofa (Green Room), Sofa (Listening Room). CB2: Console (Green Room), Side Tables (Hall), Sofa, Coffee Table (Lounge), Table (Office), Dining Chairs (Coffee Lounge). Tai Ping Carpets: Custom Rug (Sitting Area). Davis Furniture: Sofas. Holly Hunt: Chairs. West Elm: Side Tables (Lounge, Coffee Lounge, Reception Area). Martin Brattrud: Cushions (Stairway). Blu Dot: Benches (Hall), Stools (Atrium), Credenza (Listening Room), Sofa (Reception Area). Summer Classics: Chairs (Court­Yard). Andreu World: Chairs (Office). Alur: Storefront Sys­tem. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams: Coffee Table (Coffee Lounge). Gus Modern: Sofa. Shaw Hospitality: Rug. Andreu World: Barstools. Thomas O’Brien: Pendant Fixture. Zuo Modern: Chairs (Coffee Lounge), Chairs, Table (Listening Room). Tandus: Rug (Reception Area). Nienkamper: Chair. H.D. Buttercup: Armchairs. West Elm: White Side Table. Bernhardt Design: Bench. Throughout: Monarch Plank: Floor Planks. Bentley: Carpet. Barrisol: Stretched Ceiling Membrane. Benjamin Moore & Co.; Dunn-Edwards Corporation: Paint.

> See more from the May 2019 issue of Interior Design

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