Then it happened. I hired another person......and then another.....and then another....oh wait where are they going to sit? I needed to expand. Thankfully there was an open vacant conference space available adjacent to our existing space. We set out task to see how we could take just a minimal amount.......ahhhhh....might as well take it all.....you never know. So we did.
Planning your own architectural office isn't really an easy thing. After all we have so many ideas running around in our head for all of our clients. But this was ours! What could we possibly do? We had to restart our design efforts and begin again as well as negotiate the extension to our lease.
Phasing first had to be considered as we knew that we had to maintain operations throughout the entire construction time. One area needed to be finished....or mostly finished....before we could move on to the next area. We figured we would have to live through some mess.
Program space became our next issue to tackle. There were several areas we needed to account for in our new space that we lacked.
1. Storage Space: more storage space for all catalogs and samples that seem to continually spawn within our office walls. We never seem to have enough shelf space. A simple closet.....you know....a place that you can toss stuff you don't know what to do with and that cannot be placed on a shelf. We needed a junk closet bad. Of course it would be the nicest of junk closets! It needed to handle things like a vacuum cleaner, old files, old drawings, paper supplies....and whatever needed.
2. Production Space: obviously what started this whole thing! We needed to account for our current staff plus whatever additional we might anticipate in the near future. This was meant to be an open office studio area.
3. Conference Room: We really needed a new conference space since our little room couldn't even handle our own staff meetings any longer. There were times when our client meetings even got larger than we could handle. We needed something that could accommodate 10-12 seats. This held us back. Honestly, we also needed more meeting spaces because there seemed to be more and more times that more than one meeting was taking place. This was going to be a task to configure our space to handle something like this and still maintain proper flow.
A few things that we wanted to incorporate into our renovation was sustainability or reclaimed artifacts. We needed to practice what we preach. However you can't always plan these types of designs entirely because you need to search for those products you have in mind. Then once you find what you are looking for.....figure out how to design around it and properly incorporated. Repurposing items in a manner that you never expected is also a lot of fun......another goal of the office design....FUN!
Over the next few weeks we will share in detail each of the rooms and the details of how we accomplished our goals. We will share materials acquired, furniture purchased, pieces made and how we did it. Stay tuned each week for updates.
Ionic DeZign Studios
D. Eugene Thompson, AIA
Where Art and Architecture Come Together