05 December 2011

Design for the New Age

By: Erin Jimenez, IIDA

For SHI, our goal of design was to create an atmosphere that accurately represented the company, and reflected its unique personality. The use of color, texture, shape and lighting allowed us to convey a design character unique to SHI; one that makes a statement and reflects the company’s image. The initial inspiration for the design at SHI was the headquarters of Google.com. The multiple colors and open space plan seemed to capture much of what SHI was looking for in a direction of design. The fun, collaborative atmosphere was appealing and well suited for this fast growing software company.


The overall design and the flow of the space were to encourage teamwork and collaboration. The open office design of the space keeps the employees feeling connected, collaborative and in touch with one another. The bright colors and fun patterns that are accented throughout the building reflect a friendly atmosphere and a happy and productive work environment.

The intention of the reception area was to give a first impression that was accurate to the image of the company, which we were very successful at conveying. The use of several colors and shapes, as well as textures and surfaces, allowed us to create a techy yet sophisticated reception and lobby area. 

Since the reception area is a mezzanine open to the atrium below, there was a need to address some acoustical issues, due to the fact that the Atrium will be used as a gathering space once the cafeteria is completed.


Each floor consists of two pantry areas, which give the employees an opportunity to bring their lunch or daily snacks, and not have to waste time in leaving the building to eat. The random floor pattern and warm colors of the space make the pantries an inviting place to eat and collaborate. We made sure to provide ample storage with both cabinets and drawers, so as to house the paper products and cutlery that SHI provides for the employees. Each pantry is also equipped with vending machines, water coolers, and microwaves.

Each floor also consists of this conference room prototype. The intention of this room was to provide each quadrant of the office space with a formal conference room. The storefront design allows for the space to feel open and collaborative to the rest of the work area, while the frosted striping on the glass offers just the right amount of privacy for the meeting attendees. The full glass walls allow for natural light to flow through the space, which would normally not receive the benefit of natural sun light with traditional walls.

The open office space was designed with the intention of keeping the space as open and collaborative as possible. The low work stations promote communication and collaboration amongst the employees. This set-up also allows for natural light to travel through the space, to the benefit of every employee. The offices in this building were intentionally designed to be located in the center of the space, instead of along the perimeter of the building, so as to free up the window area for all to enjoy.

Because of the vast size of the space, we used color accents to differentiate the different areas and make it easier for employees to recognize where they are at a glance. The accent colors on each floor provide the employees with way finding and allow them to easily determine what area they are in, which can prove challenging in such a large environment. Accent colors were also used in alcoves to distinguish the types of services that are located there. Restrooms, mechanical rooms, stairwells, IDF and janitors closets were color coated to equip employees with at-a-glance way finding. All of this is designed in an effort to increase productivity and decrease wasted time.

The intention of the color scheme in the stairwells was to keep them fun and inviting, so as to encourage the employees to travel via the stairs, rather than the elevator. The stairs could be especially discouraging to those employees that need to travel 5 floors at a time. So, our focus was to making these stairwells as appealing as possible.


 
The building is a successful interpretation of the personality of a successful company. The design will continue to inspire and encourage employees and begin to brand the company with a unique look to a productive environment.

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