CASE STUDY = PRESTIGE OFFICE
EVOLUTION TO “GLOBAL LUXE”
CHAPTER 1. HOW IT BEGAN
INITIAL CONSULTATION: Prestige was on a journey to a new identity and asked me to join the team as they searched for the space that would ultimately be the launch pad for that effort. The company had recently gone through a difficult transition in management and three one time employees stepped up to rescue the company themselves. The mission was to find a building and space that was not only affordable but also held the potential to fully function and embody the workings of this company’s reinvention and the space had to feel just right. And, as advocates of sustainability, the client’s interest in repurpose, reuse and sustainable material introduction were the mindset in moving forward.
CONCLUSIONS FROM DISCOVERY MEETING: It was imperative that the new space offer old and new clients alike a strong sense of just who Prestige is today. That they are solidly moving forward in a new and charismatic way and that they are unique in their global presence and dedication to their work. It was equally important, particularly with the management change, that employees felt positive, energized and proud of their new work home. Layout and a welcoming energy was key for productivity.
CHALLENGES: The space they opted for is a wonderful historic building in the North Loop area of Minneapolis. The challenge here was to bring their desire for an open concept environment to life while protecting the personal working space for each member of the company. The windows were located on one end of the office exclusively and the desire was to share that inspirational light (daylighting) with everyone in the space rather than the three owner’s offices. Budget, as with any project, was a concern but a new and fresh experience was what was needed within those constraints.
CHAPTER 2. THE PUREALCHEMY DESIGN FORMULA
OBJECTIVE: The ultimate objective was to design a space that brought the character of Prestige to life. Their work is unique and rich with global travel opportunities and that had to be incorporated into the design to truly represent their brand. The offices they left behind were closed-off and stifling and not fitting the character of this modern company. This new space would be thoughtfully unique, and edgy while warm and inviting.
LAYOUT: The ideas of a more open and collaborative layout, executive round-table and true daylighting were heavy influencers of the space flow. With a plan contrary to many businesses we designed the executive offices in a way to create a virtual veranda space on the bank of windows where team meetings, small collaborations or individual work could be done in a sunny and inviting environment. By keeping the majority of the forward windows open with the veranda and open light drawing hallways daylight touches every part of the 6,000 square foot office. The result, the space feels new, fresh and positive…here is where productivity is enhanced. The environment is one that is respectful to things of quality and meaning to relay to clients and partners the level of competency and professionalism that Prestige represents. Specific attention was paid to the way in which the owners and employees of the company naturally function for productivity, personal satisfaction and efficiency.
ATMOSPHERE: The space has contemporary and sophisticated vibe with a refined nod to the world of travel potential at the very core. Throughout the space you will encounter world destination photographs that will draw you personally in to the experiences of these various locations. This will be seen immediately upon entering the reception area where a boutique/chic ambiance will greet all that enter. The photographs and color scheme will be one that reflects a time of day that is both physically calming and intellectually invigorating…weaving in the hues of sunset; in plums, warm red and gold on the grounding palette of warm wood, aged brick and the sophisticated Prestige logo grey.
This global exploration concept will also be present in the echoing of the circular form in fabrics, lighting and furnishing of various types in all areas of the office space. The experience will culminate at the large world map located at the far end of the office space where a casual and eclectic lounge will play host to those that wish to have a casual conversation or to entertain clients and visitors.
CHAPTER 3. A GLOBAL LUXE VIBE with a SUSTAINABLE APPROACH
Specializing in luxury destination experiences for customers all over the world, this client's goal was to create a comfortable, sophisticated work environment at their chic new location. A strong supporter of sustainability, the client fully supported the repurpose and reuse of as many existing materials as possible, while creating a welcoming and refined space.
The entire space has a contemporary and sophisticated vibe with a refined nod to the world of travel with a large world map located next to the kitchen, where a casual and eclectic lounge hosts clients and visitors.
SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH REUSE: The original hardwood floors of the charming old building had already been sanded down to the nail heads so little could be done to refinish them. Rather than lose their charm, they were cleaned and polished to take advantage of the character and patina - imperfections and all.
Other repurposed materials, including salvaged barn wood, aged framed windows, glass and metal barn doors, are used throughout the space. Keeping minimal waste and functionality as high priorities, we kept a precious stack of tempered glass was saved from demolition and incorporated them into our design to bring the energy efficient concept of “daylighting” to the entire space. The glass was employed as daylight filters, space defining walls and elegant white boards, saving on electrical costs and adding a welcoming atmosphere.
In the kitchen, a piece of natural stone tops the island, which was created from repurposed barn wood from an owner’s family farm. Directly overhead, lights that were once in the rafters were repositioned to increase functionality while others were reinvented as wall sconces. The original kitchen cabinetry was turned on its side to create a new storage area for janitorial supplies. The original kitchen countertop was cut and moved to serve as the charging bar for visitors and commuters. And utility lights found in the space were repurposed as modern sconces throughout.
FEATURED RESUED & REINVENTED ELEMENTS:
- Glass - was repurposed and now used in Vice President's office
- VP's office door - repurposed from the developer on another project in the North Loop
- Original purple closet door was retained & helped create the updated color scheme
- Daylighting all light from the window wall follows through to back of office space through reused tempered glass
- Original 'jelly jar' industrial lights were reused as wall sconces through perimeter of office space
- Edison bulbs were used to reflect the age of building
- Fluorescent lights were reused but secured closer to ceiling to maintain light, but taken out of sightline.
- Floor was not touched….it has been sanded down to the nail tops and did not want to destroy the integrity of the wood or the space
- Cabinetry from the kitchen was reused and reworked (put on its side) to allow space for janitorial equipment
- The old kitchen countertop is now a visitor’s bar where guests can plug in their laptops or any electrical device
- Kitchen lights were reused, repositioned and lowered to add a focal point over the kitchen island
- Extra tempered glass was repurposed as a white board
- Carpet was not glued - to maintain integrity of wood floor
- Repositioned and reused light grid in boardroom
- Created shorter walls to create more airflow within the space---no need for extra HVAC
- Reused previous office space club chairs
- Reused head rail from a different area of the building to be used for executive office doors
- Only one pickup truck load was needed for waste materials -no dumpsters needed
BUDGET: The level of reuse and creative repurposing allowed us to keep waste from the process down to a single pick-up truck bed and no dumpster use. The savvy approach not only yielded a space that is uniquely effective but accomplished under budget to the delight of our clients.
AWARDS AND TESTIMONIALS
PRESTIGE OFFICE WINS: “Hippest Spot” in North Loop Commercial Spaces Tour. (see press release)
I would highly recommend Stephany Eaton of PureAlchemy!
We re-launched our company this past spring and had the good fortune to work with Stephany as she designed our new office space in downtown Minneapolis. Stephany nailed it! We really depended on Stephany when looking at potential office spaces. She listened to our goals and objectives in what we needed. She came back with an amazing concept that captures an open and collaborative space. We love it! We are lucky to use our office several times a month for entertaining clients, the feedback is wonderful. It is a place that I am very proud to work. Not only did Stephany design our space, she was the project manager during the build out. The space is amazing and was completed under budget!
Jeff Canham, Partner, Prestige Global Meeting Source