Inside Retail Design Collaborative / Studio One Eleven’s LA Office
Inside Retail Design Collaborative and Studio One Eleven are partner architecture companies with focus on architecture, interior design, urbanism and landscape design. Recently, they designed themselves a new office in Long Beach, Los Angeles.
“The 34,100-square-foot space transforms a vacant former Nordstrom Rack retail anchor into a vibrant creative workplace for architecture firms Retail Design Collaborative and Studio One Eleven. The firm’s decision to move from the 21st and 22nd floor of a corporate tower aligns the firm’s values of connectivity to local community and a desire for authentic interaction with the neighboring urban context in the heart of downtown Long Beach. The design concept is based on the notion of an “Urban Gallery”; a flexible evolving workshop. The “Urban Porches” at the entries are defined by deep, steel plate frames encasing a composed display of glass and integrated art walls. These street porches organize the office’s primary gathering spaces and orient them to the street as a way to visibly and physically interact with the community. The porches integrate flexible spaces surrounded by gallery display surfaces for art installations, sculpture, mixed-media and product showcase. The entry integrates an art gallery with a monolithic plywood and folded steel plate concierge station. The flexible display space can be expanded or condensed into a series of smaller spaces with large steel barn doors encased with marine grade plywood panels. Four local artists were commissioned for the murals showcased throughout the space. The office layout allows numerous creative teams to utilize one shared space. The design’s bold gesture removes private offices from the traditional office model to achieve the concept of a transparent workspace. Work areas and pockets of casual meeting spaces are linked by seamless network of interior “streets and alleys”. Arranged amid the open office are three elevated masses that act as huddle rooms for gathering and private meetings. All workstations are custom-designed and fabricated to incorporate drawing surfaces, adjustable height desks and reconfigurable collaborative tables. The mezzanine wraps the perimeter of the interior space creating a “Bridgewalk” overlook with lounges, workspace and collaborative pin-up zones. The programmatic elements include open work clusters, idea lounges, enclosed collaboration spaces, war rooms, flex offices, community room, material library, digifab shop, shower and lockers and play areas. A portion of the service dock is transformed into an urban garden, featuring green walls, relocated city trees, a fire pit, outdoor seating and large-scale murals. A peaceful respite for employees, the space also functions for social gatherings and community events. This adaptive-reuse project integrates environmentally sustainable design, including daylighting, natural ventilation, lighting controls, energy conserving building systems, low water consuming fixtures and landscaping, smart material selection and indoor/outdoor gardens. Street views and sunlight are captured deep into the office space from expansive glazing. Twenty skylights offer natural daylight and ventilation while reducing artificial lighting needs. ”