When you hear a building has good bones, your brain would probably conjure up an image that looks something like the space we completed for a pharmaceutical research company in Connecticut.
Gorgeous time-tested details are preserved throughout this otherwise modern office redesign. This office is tucked away inside the back of an historic mill building in a quiet town outside Hartford. We renovated this space for the new reality of work while saving the touches that have survived decades.
As you step through the doors, there’s an antique spiral metal staircase winding its way up one of the brick walls to a second story. And while you’re looking up, your eyes will be pulled to the original, preserved wood ceiling. The main floor space is open and vast, and the two story tall windows make it feel grand.
While this space has an interesting past, it’s future is even brighter thanks to creative design and deep collaboration. Employees at this company were involved right from the very beginning of this project.
“Everyone was surveyed before we started, and the feedback from employees helped us design a space that was beautiful from the user experience and business needs perspective as well,” said Ron Wilson, Infinity Group Client Partner.
The office needed a tasteful update that honored the past and included all the modern conveniences and technology. After some careful demolition, we actually expanded their footprint and maximized the value of the square footage they were already using.
“At first, the company wasn’t convinced they could even fit in the space, let alone accommodate growth, but we helped them dream bigger,” said Infinity Group Director of Design Laura Merill.
Our proposal also included a Town Hall space for 50 people that was hard for the company to visualize. Thanks to a new Infinity Group space plan, they could finally see how it could all work. The plan included removing a circular curtain meeting area in the middle of the big room, and with that gone they indeed had enough space for everything on their list and more. That circular meeting space was originally installed for a small architectural firm that was in the space before, but it didn’t accommodate the needs of a larger company.
“In fact, it was making everything confusing and messy with workstations randomly placed outside the circle where employees didn’t feel emotionally anchored and secure,” said Merill.
With this project complete, all of that has changed for the better. The open cafe area, meeting rooms, and workstations were replaced. Workstations can be turned into standing desks with the press of a button and they are properly distanced – separated by desk dividers. Vibrant peacock blue and kelly green company brand colors are splashed throughout in the paint and furniture choices, balanced by whitewashed brick, and neutral grey tones.
Scotti Rylands, Human Resources Manager for Metrum Research Group stated, “There were so many details we liked, but I think my favorite part was seeing it come to life. Swatches, virtual drawings, and renderings did not do the project justice. The final outcome was beautiful. Also, even though we did not plan for COVID-19 guidelines, our design allows for six-foot distancing between work stations.”
Beautiful design, intentional collaboration, and maximizing the value of the square footage – wins for the company and the people who make it special.