"One thing lacking was adequate vertical surfaces," says Yao, describing the office held by Architecture Research Office for 13 years.
"We need that wall space [in order] to be constantly setting up internal reviews," Yao says. "We need to live with the things we make over time."
Yao and Cassell, along with partner Adam Yarinsky, 49, AIA, moved the firm across the street to new SoHo offices five years ago. The type of space was as important a consideration as the quantity of space in that decision to move.
"We've been very busy in the last six months or year. We don’t have any grand expansion plans," Cassell says. "It's all about doing the work the way we want to do it."
"There are times when people want to work on what they're doing, and it disturbs them, people touching base or pulling them into crits," Adam Yarinsky says.
Yao describes the studio as "an organized space, though locally there's a fair amount of piling." Cassell says that clutter at the old office spurred the move to the new place. "We realized that it was easier to move than clean our office."