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New NY Office With an Open Collaborative Workplace Foster Community While Supporting Individual Work in One Work Location

Kostow Greenwood Architects designed the new office in NY for the financial research firm CreditSights. CreditSights is a leading independent financial research firm with a mission to provide value added input that helps their clients make prudent and profitable investment and risk management decisions consistent with their risk profiles. Founded by a group of analysts, the firm has grown from 8 original employees to over 130 employees around the world. CreditSights is purely a research firm and does not underwrite securities or manage assets.

CreditSights’ previous office occupied two separate floors. The planned relocation would allow the entire team to be on the same floor and in the same open office area. The new office at 2 Park Avenue, a building with a landmarked exterior, was a blank canvas presenting an opportunity, for the first time, for the firm to design an office environment suitable to the team’s work styles. In consultation with Kostow Greenwood Architects, the desired workplace plan would have fewer perimeter offices, more open collaborative workspaces and several breakout rooms. One location for the New York based team was also an opportunity to infuse subtle design elements in the design of the workspace to enhance the firm’s brand presentation.

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The overall design provides multiple break-out spaces for collaborative and individual work. An expansive, south facing café encourages casual interaction or becomes another individual workspace in natural sunlight. @Adrian Wilson

Design Challenges

Low beam heights and high windows presented issues in running mechanical systems, lighting and sprinklers without obstructing the abundant natural light.

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A glass wall with large sliding doors allows the Conference Lounge with sofas to become an extension of the Conference Wing with meeting table and chairs or create two distinctive areas for groups to meet. @Adrian Wilson

The windows in this landmarked building reach very near the ceiling so a lighting/acoustic solution was needed that would not obstruct the natural light. The building did not permit electrical and data core drills therefore the design attempts to use as much of the existing floor power trenches with minimal additional trenches. Conceive of a workspace that will foster community while supporting individual work for a team that has never before shared one work location.

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Reception connects the two wings: West - open plan office and East – conference rooms. @Adrian Wilson

Design Solutions

The single floor layout for the firm’s new location is a typical middle core of public restrooms and elevators so Kostow Greenwood programmed the space into separate wings.

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The east conference wing contains four conference rooms that can accommodate from 6 to 12 people around tables with additional side seating. A separate Flash Studio with acoustical separation, green screen backdrop, and recording equipment facilitates more varied vlogs for their clients’ needs. @Adrian Wilson

To maintain the highest ceiling heights, the open ceiling was used. The space came with pre-built slab and beam gypsum enclosures. The contractor carefully opened up areas to run power and data to avoid exposed conduit.

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The design for the café introduces natural wood and plants with industrial hardware shelves. A low-tiled wall topped with a glass divider separates the open plan office with the café. The glass divider permits light into the open office while providing a noise barrier. @Adrian Wilson

Each break-out room features a decorative wall covering showcasing nature. Distinctive lighting and acoustic solution provides light and acoustic rating similar to a suspended acoustical ceiling without reducing the ceiling height. Each sections(workstations, conference room, lounge, cafe, reception) has its own distinctive selection of fabrics.

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The 3Form LightArt Echo Fixture is a notable design element with two important functions – providing light and acoustic rating similar to a suspended acoustical ceiling without reducing the ceiling height. @Adrian Wilson

To balance the reduction of private offices, the layout focuses on providing easy access to small workrooms that can accommodate 2-5 people. This allows the firm to have the open collaborative work environment between the research and sales departments, who had been on separate floors, while still providing the ability for private meetings and phone calls in the work rooms.

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The open plan office, sit-to-stand desks, promote easier collaboration between teams and healthier daily physical activity. Adjacent workrooms, with digital room schedulers, are an alternative enclosed workspace for one to four employees. @Adrian Wilson

Furthermore, incorporating technology such as broadcast studio and technology room schedulers at each work room and conference room, help increase work efficiency.

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The conference room adjacent to the café has white board paint walls to facilitate team brainstorming. @Adrian Wilson

At the café and lounge space, plenty of seating area are provided along the southern windows to entice employees to take breaks away from their desk for lunch and snacks along with providing an informal gathering area for the team. Open metal upper shelving with live plants in front of a glass panel permits southern sunlight into the entire office while still providing a sound barrier between café and open office.

Design Team/Project Team

Architect / InteriorsKostow Greenwood Architects
MEP/FP EngineerAMA Consulting Engineers, PC
AcousticianLongman Lindsey    
ExpeditorBurnham Nationwide, Inc.
Audio / Visual SystemsSpectra Audio Design Group
Plant DesignJohn Mini
IT ConsultantsShen Milsom & Wilke, LLC
SecurityPTS Consulting, Inc.
Signage/Privacy FilmCoyle & Company Graphics, Inc.
Project ManagerGardiner & Theobald
ContractorVanguard Construction & Development
Furniture DealerWB Wood
Demountable SystemLane Office   

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