Story by Fred Bauters
Offices are strange environments that need to simultaneously enhance employee productivity, provide inspiration for the work being done and showcase the company’s brand. But the problem is that there’s not a sure-fire way to accomplish these seemingly simple three components. That’s where the question, “What’s our mission?” comes into play. That should fill in the blanks for where to locate, what materials to use and how to arrange the space.
We’ve scoured the KC area to find some of the best examples of “cool” offices to provide ideas for your next big overhaul or minor update. They follow a mission, inspire their employees and make work less like, well, work.
SQUARE ONE INTERIORS
What immediately strikes the eye at the design firm’s 1,000-square-foot office in River Market is the bold green walls, which match the color of its logo. A close second is the artwork that blankets the walls, which acts as a rotating exhibition for regional artists. Or is it the set of chairs hanging from the ceiling (see cover July’s)?
Wherever the eye goes first, it’s clear that the intention is to inspire staff and clients who walk through the door while conveying the fun, energetic nature of the company. And though the bright green is everywhere, it’s anchored by dark wood floors and a wood-beam ceiling, making it all feel more like home than an office.
LUTJEN inc. offices
At the heart of the land developer’s space is a commitment to environmentally responsible practices. The 20,000-square-foot corporate office was awarded LEED Silver certification, and evidence of that achievement is everywhere inside the renovated barrel-vaulted warehouse.
Layers of clear glazing, from the highly insulated exterior windows and interior movable partitions, allow natural light to pour into the core. Abandoned gas and sprinkler piping was reclaimed and repurposed for handrails, ramps and bicycle racks. All of this and yet Lutjen maintains a collaborative culture through partial-height walls, glass walls for conference rooms and open spaces for meeting.
The design strategy for BRR’s 31,000-square-foot modern remodel in Merriam centers on inviting natural daylight and carrying a through-building view spanning the atrium, boardroom and reception. Climate-neutral carpet and post-consumer fabrics build on the principle of sustainability and find a home among the sleek lines prevalent in every facet of every space, a reminder of the company’s cutting-edge mission.
Another key feature is the employee bistro, which offers a number of ways to take a break: a standing bar with stools, spots for casual conversation and restaurant-style seating. Lowered ceiling fans and warm wood tones complement the centerpiece quartz island countertop and create a welcoming space that extends the feeling of entire office.
See more pics HERE!