This collaborative office environment was designed to accommodate an expanding architectural practice in an existing street level urban office building located in the Central Business District of Des Moines, Iowa. While the work stations are relatively fixed, the organization of the spaces, the communal tack wall and open conferencing areas provide for flexibility and sharing of ideas and concepts. Designed initially to provide work areas for 14, the space can comfortably accommodate 18 work areas for future growth. Few walls subdivide the space providing a volumetric environment that can be adapted and changed as working methodologies change over time.
Collaboration and communal space is provided at each work area, at the tack wall, in open conference rooms and in the storage and coffee area. Work stations and the conversation table in the coffee area are designed at standup or tall stool height to easily accommodate spontaneous and scheduled conversation, discussions, critiques and interchange.
Taking advantage of the north and west floor-to-ceiling windows, work areas are held back to allow all to have access to views and to maximize comfort and daylighting opportunities. The office functions well during periods of intense sun and on overcast days.
Reuse of existing office space that had been vacant for 10 years contributes to the sustainable characteristics of the design. Located near bus routes and within walking/biking distance of numerous employee homes, the office helps reduce the burning of fossil fuels and carbon contributions. As tenants and strong supporters of responsible life styles, BNIM convinced the existing building owners to provide showers for bikers and runners in a remodeled common restroom facility.
This space reflects BNIM’s culture by being responsible in the use of materials and resources, maximizing the use of daylighting and providing a collaborative studio infrastructure that promotes creativity, excellence, teaching and learning.
The active urban corner provides sufficient activity so as to not be a distraction to the creative staff. As a contribution to the City, the office provides a renewed sense of life and activity to a previously dormant intersection.